It’s shameful irony that we have factions in this country calling for an end to immigration and claiming others should “fix their own country” while our war in Iraq is creating refugees.
By LOUISE NORDSTROM
SWEDEN has given shelter to about 100,000 Iraqis, 40,000 of them since the invasion of their country in 2003 – and that is far more than any other western country, including the United States.
But the Swedish government has gradually tightened its asylum rules, worried that its generous welfare system cannot cope.
The effects became evident this year, when immigration statistics showed only 28 per cent of asylum claims were approved in January and 23 per cent in February – down from 85 per cent in January 2007.
While Sweden has won praise for the welcome it extends to Iraqis, the government sees the surge of newcomers as out of control and has appealed in vain to other European states to share the burden.