Refugee Resettlement Watch

Somali family reunification halted in Scandinavia

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 10, 2011

Here is a short piece from YLE News in Finland.  (emphasis mine)

Just a reminder that the US cut off most family reunification (called the P-3 program) from Africa in 2008 after discovering the widespread fraud involved and supposedly has not restarted it.   I say supposedly because Somalis have bragged here that it is open and their “families” are getting in.

Family reunification policy has been under discussion in Finland for some time. The Somali community in Finland is now worried that Finnish policy could be influenced by changes in nearby countries.

YLE reported yesterday that family reunifications in Sweden had effectively ended. Swedish authorities now demand identity documents that are very difficult for Somalis to obtain in Somalia given the country’s lack of a functioning government.

”Immigration is quite young in Finland, so we wonder why the Finnish policy often follows those in Sweden and Denmark,” says the vice-chair of the Somali League in Finland, Abdiaziz Godah.

Finnish policy is also expected to tighten yet further after additional restrictions were introduced in the last parliament. Travel expenses are now only be reimbursed for quota refugees accepted by Finland, and DNA testing to ensure family members are related will continue.

”If the goal is to have a coherent policy, then the reference point will be the other Nordic countries,” said Heikki Taskinen, head of the Finnish Immigration Service. “Presumably, further tightening could still happen.”

Much depends on the programme of the next government, after immigration became a key issue for some successful candidates in campaigning ahead of the last parliamentary election.

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