SWEDEN -- "It's a level we've never seen before," said the Moderates' migration policy spokesperson Johan Forssell when he told Aftonbladet that over 300,000 cases of family reunifications are expected by 2019. The record figures come from the Migration Board's forecast, according to Aftonbladet.
The huge migration wave in 2015 could be repeated and almost doubled when over 300,000 family members are expected to arrive up to the year 2019.
When Aftonbladet talks with Johan Forssell, he says it is a large volume to handle.
- It's a level we've never seen before. Until 2019, it is about 317,000 cases. This will have a major impact on the issues of housing, jobs, schools, health care. It underlines that we need to have long-term and sustainable immigration policies, says Forsell.
Calls for new permanent legislation
The period Forsell refers to, is the years 2016 through 2019. But according to the Migration Board's forecast, it extends to 2020 and a further 57,000 migrants are expected, giving a total of 374,000 (for now). But it is the time after 2019 that is interesting, until then the new temporary rules that make it harder for family reunifications apply.
But after 2019, those who have been rejected may re-apply for a residence permit, and then with much more generous rules, which increases the chances of getting to stay in the country. It is for this reason that Forsell calls for a permanent law.
- When the temporary law expires, we need a new legislation at a sustainable level. But we get no response from the government, says Johan Forssell to Aftonbladet.
SD: "An intolerable situation"
Also the Sweden Democrats party, which in most opinion polls looks to challenge the Conservatives for the second place in Swedish politics, is on the same page. When Nyheter Idag talks to party leader Jimmie Åkesson's political secretary, Mikael Eriksson, he calls for a tightening of the rules to handle the expected volumes.
- Although the number of asylum applications has decreased, we now see an increasing trend of family reunification. Over 300,000 new applications are expected in the coming years. This is an intolerable situation. Of course, there should be the opportunity to reunite with ones family, but these rules need to be tightened. The levels now present a risk of putting even more pressure on already strained municipalities, he told the newspaper.
Aftonbladet has also spoken with Minister of Justice and Minister for Migration, Morgan Johansson, and he believes that the Migration Board's forecast shows that the government is in control of the situation. He does not quite share the dark image that the Conservatives and the Sweden Democrats paint on the background of the Migration Board's forecast.
- They count the applications, not how many people who will be granted.
Traditionally a lower number of the requests are granted, he says to the newspaper.
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