With the immigration situation in Sweden quickly spiraling out of control, the country has announced the introduction of temporary border checks in order to limit the flow of migrants. Swedish officials have said that the country is taking this action because the massive amount of new arrivals is causing a threat to public safety.
With Syrians continuing to flee the Middle East, European countries are becoming overwhelmed by the situation. Most of the immigrants are heading to Germany or Sweden, which are the most welcoming when it comes to asylum. Citizens of the two countries are starting to panic, saying that their livelihoods are being put in jeopardy.
According to Swedish officials, the new border controls will go into effect on Thursday, and they will last for ten days. After that time period, the policies will be reviewed, and any needed adjustments will be made.
This year, almost 200,000 immigrants are expected to arrive in Sweden. This is the largest per capita immigration flow in all of the European Union.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said, “This is not an issue for one or two or three countries; this is an issue for the whole European Union. We need another system; that is obvious."
Meanwhile, Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman stated that the government had to act for the purposes of security and stability. He insisted that the country is not trying to limit the number of people seeking asylum, but rather the country is trying to maintain a stronger control of the situation.
According to immigration officials in Sweden, the introduction of these temporary border policies will help them to register new immigrants and also prevent people from illegally staying in the country.
Spokesperson for the Swedish Migration Agency Fredrik Bengtsson added that the agency was currently working to retrieve people at the border in order to drive them to the immigration offices. Bengtsson said that many immigrants fail to register with the system, and they simply disappear.
As for the European Union as a whole, countries are still deeply divided as to how to handle the influx of refugees. Hungary has expressed criticism over Germany’s announced plan of sending Syrian refugees to other European countries. Germany plans to ship many of the refugees to the European country that they first entered, with the exception of Greece, which is an entry point for many immigrants.
In Slovenia, officials are building a razor-wire fence along its shared border with Croatia. The Slovenian government also said that it would put temporary obstacles in place in order to limit the number of immigrants. The country has insisted that the border will remain open, but the move was made to restore order. Croatia has criticized this move, saying that money would be better spent on new reception centers.
Leaders in the European Union have reached an agreement on a program that would relocate thousands of migrants. However, the program has yet to show strong results, as only about 130 migrants have been relocated so far.