Kai Mykkänen (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, has turned down calls to detain unsuccessful asylum seekers facing deportation.
“The fact that we’d be detaining tens of times as many people as now would be a waste of taxpayers’ money. Let’s rather spend the money more effectively on promoting the security of Finns,” he stated in the Finnish Parliament on Thursday. “We have absolutely no acute problem in that regard.”
The Finns Party has repeatedly demanded that unsuccessful asylum seekers who have been issued a deportation order be detained on grounds of national security until they have been removed from Finland.
Mykkänen on Thursday reminded the opposition party that asylum seekers can be currently detained on grounds of a threat assessment conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (KRP). He pointed out that while immigration is a phenomenon that warrants the attention of authorities, far-right extremism and social exclusion have been identified as the main root causes of terrorism.
He revealed a few weeks ago that the operating costs of reception centres stand at roughly 400,000 euros a day, equivalent to 40–50 euros per resident.
“If we started detaining [...] everyone who has been denied asylum, the costs would rise considerably,” he highlighted. “The resources should really be directed to create procedures for identifying, detaining and, provided that the preconditions are met, deporting without delay those who are genuinely dangerous.”
Mykkänen also told that some 95 per cent of the 10,000 unsuccessful seekers who remain in reception centres have filed either an appeal or a new residence permit application. Finland, he added, is prepared to utilise detentions on a wider scale to if there is a risk that illegal immigrants account for a significant share of the total population.
“Preventing that is surely key question for the entire society this year. Detention issues are handled depending on the situation,” he stated in early April.
The French National Assembly recently voted 228–139 in favour of a controversial immigration bill that stipulates, for example, that asylum seekers awaiting deportation can be held in detention for up to 90 days – two times as long as before.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi