Swedish interior minister Anders Ygeman says that in the coming years, the country is expected to deport between 60,000 and 80,000 refugees who sought asylum in 2015.
His announcement comes just days after Ygeman told reporters that 45 percent of the 163,000 applications were rejected.
"I think that it could be about 60,000 people, but it could also be up to 80,000," Ygeman reportedly told the De Volkskrant newpaper.
After confirming the quotes on Thursday, Ygeman’s spokesman, Victor Harju, adds that “the minister was simply applying the current approval rate to the record number of asylum-seekers that arrived in 2015,” according to the Associated Press.
“That rate could of course change,” he concluded.
Last year, Germany and Sweden were the most popular destinations for asylum seekers — Germany accepting an unprecedented 1.1 million refugees — but the backlog of applications has forced new asylum-seekers to wait upwards of 15 months to even have their applications assessed.
“We have a big challenge ahead of us. We will need to use more resources for this and we must have better cooperation between authorities,” Ygeman said according to Reuters.
Because of the heavy numbers of refugees being accepted, Sweden reversed its open door immigration policy late last year. It has since been working to ebb the flow of asylum-seekers with increased border control while also putting pressure on businesses to require the proper documentation from their employees — tactics they hope will curb the appeal of settling down.
If we've learned anything from the numerous articles, open letters, statistics, and studies surrounding refugees and asylum-seekers, anything is better than living in a bomb-infested area where you and your neighbors fear for your lives and the lives of your children every day. Even living on the streets of Sweden or in tents in Germany is better than being stuck in the cross hairs of a proxy-war between the U.S. and Russia while simultaneously being terrorized by ISIS.
If Sweden thinks that cracking down on undocumented workers is going to make these refugees seek asylum somewhere else, they're not only heartless but delusional. These people are risking their lives to simply get to another country — a few obstacles like paperwork and border patrol police are not going to stop them.
Banner Image Credit: Reuters