So bad in Sweden that even immigrants and refugees are saying that the state has gone to far…….
Just under an hour’s drive to the southwest of the Swedish capital, Stockholm, is the town of Södertälje.
It is a place where the openness of Sweden’s policy on immigration is palpable but so too are the strains and tensions it is causing.
More than 10,000 of Södertälje’s residents have roots in Iraq. Nearly 8,000 are from Syria.
Last year, this country of just nine million people accepted 85,000 refugees. This year, its government says it plans to take in 100,000.
A spike in refugees from Syria arriving in Södertälje over the past four years correlates directly with the timeline of Syria’s grim and ongoing civil war.
Sweden is unique in its policy of granting every Syrian who makes it here automatic residency.
Regardless of the fact that most arrive illegally and with the help of traffickers or smugglers, they are given a grant for housing and state-funded education.
The problem is that a national policy designed to give refugees a chance and make their lives that little bit more humane has caused a surge in the numbers coming here.
It is putting a strain on public services and, predictably, it is boosting the popularity of political parties far to the right of the traditional mainstream.
But we found something far less predictable: immigrants, now settled in Södertälje, who are themselves now questioning if Sweden has gone too far.
Afram Yakoub arrived in Sweden in 1989. He gives Sky News a drive-by tour of the town. We pass a community centre, a restaurant and a high school.
“This school, you see, it has around 500 students but I think there’s only one ethnically Swedish student,” he says.