The Finns Party has a questionable reputation as a party that opposes immigration. However, such a perspective is often exaggerated and is an image that outsiders seek to convey about the party. Truth can rarely be reduced to such a one-dimensional view, as is the case here. There are many types of immigration and most forms of it are acceptable to the Finns Party. There are many types of immigration and not all immigration should be bundled together.
The Finns Party is opposed to unwanted immigration it sometimes provocatively refers to as “haittamaahanmuutto” (= detrimental immigration). By this we mean immigration which net benefit to society is negative from an economic point of view. In addition, such immigration is often associated with many social side effects. Recently for example, the media have reported on how drug trafficking in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area is dominated by foreign gangs and how crime is becoming increasingly violent and public.
Detrimental immigration also includes low-wage labor migration. This category includes the exploitation of labor in low-wage sectors where salaries are not enough to live on, and which must be supplemented by social benefits. This phenomenon is particularly evident in the metropolitan area, where housing is expensive. In the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, 51 percent, so more than half of the recipients of basic income support are foreigners. In addition, many immigrants have been employed in jobs that would not exist without immigration, such as interpreters. The ever-increasing need for interpretation also hampers integration, as the use of services in the official languages of Finland are not required.
Abolition of the needs assessment is often called out for at both ends of the political spectrum in Finland. However, when talking about labor needs assessment, it is often “forgotten” that in Finland it does not apply to the highly educated. For example, in Sweden the abolition of the needs assessment drastically increased the supply of low-wage workers and led to rampant wage trampling. In Finland there is no need for low-wage labor. The problem here is that we have over 327,000 unemployed jobseekers according to the Ministry of Employment and often the people and open jobs do not meet.
Asylum seekers are a group of foreigners, who are given sanctuary and who are not traditionally assessed on the benefit they bring to society. The Finns Party however calls for the evaluation of the effect that asylum seekers have in Finland’s economy. Humanitarian migration’s contribution to the economy is often the most negligible and has also led to many negative social effects. For example, there is a huge over-representation of foreigners in sexual offenses committed in Finland. More than a third, 37.6 percent, of the sex offenses in 2019 were committed by non-Finns. Individuals from the Middle East or Africa, the main source of humanitarian immigration, are 17 times more likely to commit a sexual offense than a representative of the native population. It is unsustainable that a person seeking asylum causes insecurity himself.
The Finns Party start from the premise that those who come to work in Finland are able to support themselves with their salary, and that is why we have suggested that the minimum wage in work-related immigration should be, for example, 3,000 euros. The immigration policy of the Finns party seeks to preserve peace and well-being in Finnish society, a value which I believe most immigrants share. Therefore, instead of humanitarian migration, preference should be given to helping in the vicinity of crisis areas and to improve development aid to be more effective and based on reciprocity. Internationality does not require a lax immigration policy and a strict, but fair, immigration policy is not an obstacle to internationalization.
Mari Rantanen is a Finnish politician currently serving in the Parliament of Finland since 2019 for the Finns Party at the Helsinki constituency.
This article was written for MP Talk, a regular column from the Helsinki Times in which Members of The Finnish Parliament contribute their thoughts and opinions. All opinions voiced are entirely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Helsinki Times.
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