Paula Risikko (NCP), the Speaker of the Parliament, believes authorities should have the possibility to also revoke permanent residence permits on grounds of security concerns. (Credit: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

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SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT Paula Risikko (NCP) has set off a debate by suggesting legislative revisions are needed to make it possible to revoke the residence permits of people who are deemed to pose a threat to national security in Finland.

“If someone is a national threat, it should be possible to revoke their residence permit,” she stated in an interview with YLE on Saturday.

“Even permanent residence permits should be revocable,” she added.

Erna Bodström, a migration researcher and human rights activist, expressed her bafflement with the statement.

“If a (foreign) criminal is a national threat, they can usually be deported already under the current legislation. So how exactly would you amend it, or are you simply stirring up panic with your needless statement?” she asked Risikko on Twitter.

Tuomas Ojanen, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Helsinki, told Helsingin Sanomat that Risikko’s statement is irresponsible and asked if she is familiar with the current legislation.

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Risikko clarified her comments on Monday, reminding that the current legislation does not provide tools for all circumstances where a residence permit should be revoked due to its holder posing a threat to national security.

“This is acknowledged in, for example, the action plan for combating illegal immigration. The matter is being looked into as we speak,” she said.

The National Police Board argues in its action plan for the prevention of illegal immigration and residence that allowing authorities to revoke the residence permits of people who are deemed to pose a threat to national security, public order or public safety would, in part, respond to challenges arising from phenomena such as the so-called foreign fighter phenomenon.

Jorma Vuorio, the head of migration issues at the Ministry of the Interior, explained to Uusi Suomi that the current legislation only allows for the deportation of a person who is residing in Finland. The Ministry of the Interior, he added, is currently exploring the possibility of revising the legislation in a way that allows authorities to also revoke the residence permits of people residing abroad and ban such people from re-entering the country on grounds of national security.

The project is to be wrapped up during the course of this spring and the final report presented most likely to the next minister of the interior, according to Vuorio.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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