There are, of course, many different reasons why Norwegians don’t like asylum seekers and by no means do I asume to know them all. But what I do know is that statistics seem to be important in Norway, especially percentages, and there are many stats and figures about asylum seekers. Combine this wih the media’s overactive drive to create controversy and you have a very strong and influential debate against people fleeing wartorn countries and looking to Norway for safety.
Norway certainly has its fair share of asylum seekers and they seem to be more prominent in society than other places like Australia and the UK. This is because Norway integrates seekers into normal society even before asylum applications have been granted. This means asylum seekers have the right to work and socialize in Norwegian society. Unfortunately only 40% of asylum applications are approved. The people who are denied are then gathered up and put into ‘return camps’ waiting to be deported from the country. This certainly gives asylum seekers a false sense of security and it is no wonder they have been burning their buildings and commiting violence at camps in recent months to protest.
One of the statistics that has been hot topic recently is the percentage of asylum seekers commiting crime. All asylum seekers are fingerprinted in every country to keep a track of identity and repeat-seekers. Asylum seekers have a habit of giving false information and jumping from country to country seeking asylum. (What asylum seekers normally don’t realize is that asylum can only be sought after once. If asylum is sought in a second country the person will be exported back to the first country of asylum. If the first country rejected their asylum the person will be deported back to their home country. What asylum seekers also usually don’t know is that if they are granted asylum they can still be sent home at any time once their home country becomes ‘civil’ to live in again. ie, Kosivo victims).
Fingerprinting is a way for authorities in different countries to help each other keep track of people. To help with their crime statistics the Norwegian police gained permission to compare fingerprints of immigrant criminals and asylum seekers. It was discovered that 10% of all Norwegian crime that required fingerprinting was committed by asylum seekers. A staggering number since asylum seekers make up only 0.3% of the population. It was also pointed out that these asylum seekers gave false identities to the police. Because of this, the asylum seekers’ applications were immediately rejected and they were put into camps for deportation.
It is hard enough to live in Norway being an immigrant, let alone an asylum seeker but understanding is the key to a successful life in Norway. Here are some examples over the last year of articles written and stats published to help you understand the silent anger of some Norwegians:
Norway to spend more money on asylum seekers
October 14th, 2009
More than 13,379 people have sought asylum in Norway so far this year. This is as many as the entire number from last year.Norway’s expenses in connection with asylum reception centers, immigration and integration will next year amount to NOK 11.5 billion, according to the proposed budget for 2010. This is an increase by NOK 2 billion compared with this year.
Key figures per 01.01.2009 from Statistics Norway
There are 423 000 immigrants and 86 000 Norwegian-born persons with immigrant parents living in Norway. Together these two groups represent 10.6 per cent of Norway’s population. Immigrants and Norwegian-born persons with immigrant parents are represented in all Norwegian municipalities. Oslo has the largest proportion with 26 per cent, or 152 000 people. 47 per cent of all the immigrants come from Asia, Africa or Latin-America. 2 in 10 immigrants have lived in Norway for more than 20 years, and 4 in 10 have lived here for 4 years or less. 57 per cent of all Norwegian-born persons with immigrant parents have parents with an Asian background. Sixteen per cent are 20 years or older.
Increased support for a more restrictive refugee policy
The proportion of people who want to make it more difficult for refugees and asylum seekers to obtain a residence permit increased by 11 percentage points in 2009 compared to the year before. About half the population thinks the access to residence permits should be further restricted.
More restrictive attitudes confronting asylum seekers
The proportion of people who want to restrict the access for refugees and asylum seekers to obtain a residence permit in Norway increased – as already mentioned – by 11 percentage points. The increase may be due to the large growth in the number of asylum seekers to Norway recently and the attention given to this by the media.
Record number of asylum seekers to Norway
August 7th, 2009
So far this year close to 10 thousand refugees have arrived in Norway. This is an increase by 45 per cent compared to last year. These numbers indicates that 2009 might be a new record year for asylum seekers arriving in Norway.
In 2008 around 14.400 asylum seekers arrived in Norway. This number is nearly doubled from the year before.
Our of the 9.900 arrived so far in 2009, 5.700 came from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Somalia and Iraq. 1.417 persons claim to be minors, and more than thousand of these came from Afghanistan.
According to new figures from The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) about 40 per cent have been granted asylum, or granted stay in Norway on humanitarian grounds.
From June 15, 2009 UDI was directed to apply stricter requirements for identification documentation in asylum cases. It has been a major problem that very few asylum seekers can legitimise themselves with valid travel documents. Experience shows that over 95 per cent lack proper documents when they report to the police, reported UDI on June 6.
Source: Aftenposten / UDI
Asylum seekers over-represented in crime stats
By Liz Fekete
11 February 2004
According to police statistics, every tenth person charged or suspected where the police have finger-print evidence, is an asylum seeker.
FOLLOWING a heated debate last year, police were given permission to search the asylum register when investigating a criminal offence. Of 1,039 new entries in the criminal register in January, 113 were asylum seekers, nine of whom had given a different identity when being fingerprinted, than the one used on their asylum application.
Norway Post 11.2.04, Aftenposten 11.2.04
Immigrants behind most cases of aggravated sexual assault
THURSDAY, 16 APRIL 2009
The Oslo Police have over the past three years investigated 41 cases of aggravated sexual assault, which resulted in rape. All of them were carried out by non-western immigrants to Norway.The police now urge that more efforts be put into preventive measures among men with immigrant background.
The police have investigated all reported cases of aggravated sexual assault over the past three years, and have gained a clear imprssion of the offenders:
Most of the rapists have a Kurdish or African background, NRK reports. The cases of aggravated sexual assults all have one thing in common, namely the use of gross violence.
Several thousand illegal aliens in Norway
THURSDAY, 08 JULY 2010
In the wake of this week’s vandalism of two asylum centers, the Government has announced that more efforts will be made to forciibly deport aliens who are residing in Norway illegally.
Aftenposten, quoting police sources, reports that there are 6-8000 persons living illegally in Norway, waiting to be deported. These aliens are asylum seekers who have had their applications turned down, and must leave Norway as soon as possible.
Justice Minister Knut Storberget has stated that the aim is to return 6000 illegal aliens this year. Around 3000 have been sent out of the country so far this year. Only around 600 have returned voluntarily, under an arrangement where they receive a certain cash incentive.
The reason why so many remain is that most asylum seekers destroy their ID papers before enetering the country. In addition many also give a false nationality, name and age when they enter Norway.
In order for their home country to accept their return, the Norwegian authorities must be able to produce the correct identity of the returnee, and if he or she refuse to cooperate, it is almost impossible to acchieve this. Also, even if the correct identity is established, this identity must be confirmed by the home country, something which is often difficult, and takes much time.
In addition, some countries demand that the return be made voluntarily.
Asylum seekers monitored
FRIDAY, 25 JUNE 2010
The Security Service of the Norwegian Police (PST) has observed that asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Norway are increasingly being monitored by intelligence services from their own homelands.
Foreign intelligence services are sending agents posing as asylum seekers to Norway, and their mission is to map other asylum seekers from their homeland, NRK reports.
The PST confirms that this is an increasing problem.
– We can’t present figures, but but we register via a number of contacts and follow-ups from other institutions that this phenomenon is on the increase, says PST operations director Tore Risberget.
According to NRK, the aim of this foreign surveillanse is to influence and threaten asylum seekers to Norway.
Among other things, Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees are reported to have been forced to pay sums of money, in order to prevent relatives at home from ending up in jail, the broadcaster reports.
Norway expels 30 illegal immigrants
MONDAY, 07 DECEMBER 2009
The Norwegian police aliens section early Sunday morning expelled 30 Iraqis who were staying in Norway illegally, many with a criminal record. They were put on a chartered plane for Iraq with heavy police escort.(Photo; Justice Minister Knut Storberget)Elleven of the 30 had been convicted in Norway of violence, rape and drug dealing, and all of them had earlier been denied asylum. They were escorted by 66 police officers on the plane to Baghdad.
Stronger demands on asylum seeker identity
WEDNESDAY, 10 JUNE 2009
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has received instructions to request stronger documented identity in asylum cases. Otherwise permission may to a larger extent be denied. If an asylum seeker refuses to do what is practically possible to document his or her identity, then the authorities will, to a larger extent, deny or issue a limited permission.The fact that very few asylum seekers can identify themselves with a valid travel document is a major problem. Over 95 per cent lack such documents when they report to the police for registration.
– In cases where the UDI considers to grant a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, and the foreigner lacks identity documentation, I have instructed that they shall, to a larger extent, deny or issue a limited permission which does not form the basis for a permanent residence permit or family migration, says the Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion, Dag Terje Andersen.
It is important to know the identity of those who are granted residence in Norway. Even though many applicants have understandable reasons to be without identity documents, the authorities must have stronger demands on those who have the possibility to provide such documentation.
There are a number of reasons to why asylum applicants lack valid identity documents. Some people get rid of their identity documents because they want to conceal who they are, for instance because they have lied about their asylum story, or because they have left their country of origin to escape prosecution for criminal acts.
– We must ensure that cheating is not rewarded, says Mr. Andersen.
Database stops asylumseekers
MONDAY, 21 JULY 2008
In its efforts to handle the increased influx of asylumseekers to Norway, access to a central European database is helpful. Thirty per cent of the applicants are turned back. The Eurodac which registers the fingerprints of all asylumseekers entering the Schengen passport region, is available also to Norwegian police, Aftenposten writes.
Only six per cent of asylumseekers who come to Norway bring their passports or other travel documents. Fingerprints are therefore important.
Through the database, it may be revealed that the applicant is presenting false identity, or that he or she has been denied asylum in another Schengen country. In this case the person is returned to the ‘first-entry’ nation.
Some even use abrasives to ruin their figerprints, but they are then detained by the police until their prints are healed. This normally takes five to six weeks, the newspaper writes.
At present around 12perons are detained for this reason.
What is the Dublin Regulation and Why are they are they taking my fingerprints?
All member states in EU, Norway and Iceland are connected to the Dublin regulation.
That means that you have to apply for asylum in the first country you arrive to.
Fingerprints are taken of each asylum seeker older than 14 years of age. The fingerprints are then sent to a database, Eurodac, where they are registered and controlled. At the control they can see if you have had your fingerprint taken in another country connected to the Dublin regulation.