While the southern border seems wide open to many Americans and is a scene of mass migration, with recent data showing that as many as 8 million illegal immigrants and migrants have crossed the border under the Biden presidency, a few European states are working together to ramp up deportations.
Those nations are Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. They announced an agreement on Tuesday to combine their efforts and expertise on removing migrants how have no legal right to stay in their countries, saying that they will work together to launch deportation flights and find other ways to cooperate on deportations.
Describing the flights, a Danish press release said, “the five Nordic countries will cooperate on joint Nordic Frontex flights from a Nordic country to a third country, so that persons without legal residence in several of the Nordic countries can leave from one Nordic country to a third country.”
In addition to focusing on forced deportations of illegal migrants, the group of Nordic nations announced a joint initiative to help migrants who made it to North Africa, an embarkation point for many of the migrants that make it into Europe, find their way back to their home countries. Though they described it as a program of “voluntary repatriation,” it is an obvious attempt to keep the migrants far away from and out of Europe.
Describing that part of the plan, they said, “ministers have agreed to help stranded irregular migrants in North Africa. The migrants will be offered voluntary repatriation to their home country as well as help to be re-established in the third country, as part of reintegration support.“
Commenting on the matter, Danish Immigration and Integration Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek said, “The Nordic countries have a common interest in foreigners without legal residence being sent home. We must prevent them from traveling across our countries and going under the radar of the authorities. Therefore, after a good meeting in Copenhagen, we have decided to strengthen the collaboration.”
Bek continued, “It is a decisive principle that foreigners without legal residence travel home. In Denmark, we have come a long way and have succeeded in reducing the number of rejected asylum seekers in the position of secondment to under 500 people. A few years ago, the number was over 1,000 people. But we should constantly strive to do better. Both in Denmark, in the other Nordic countries and in the EU. Today’s agreement is a step in the right direction.”
Finnish Interior Minister Mari Rantanen, commenting on the cooperation agreement, said, “This cooperation will be supporting our governmental program because it’s very concentrated on immigration rules and the returns especially, which have been the weak link in our system.”
Similarly, Swedish Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard said, “The Swedish government is truly looking at how the Danish government has worked with both fighting organised crime but also on migration issues.”
That represents a massive change in policy for Sweden, which has long been the Nordic country most open to migrants. In contrast, Denmark has maintained a relatively hard line on the matter, earning it the opprobrium of its European neighbors…until they now realized the danger posed by the massive migrant populations and the need to rachet up deportations.
Featured image credit: By Srivatsan KC – The Hindu, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=119103158
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