The sooner the better, but it has to be met with a no-nonsense border policy, that puts Finnish citizens’ lives ahead of anything else.
A plan to shut five asylum seeker reception centres across Finland in the coming months was announced by the Finnish Immigration Service on Friday.
Reception centres in Helsinki, Kokemäki, Rovaniemi, Nauvo and Vihti will be closed down this spring, with several others already shuttered last month.
According to the Immigration Service, reception centres in the municipalities of Forssa, Kajaani, Hamina, Merikarvia and Iisalmi were closed in January.
Maximum capacities reduced
Additionally, the capacities of other reception centres will be reduced.
The Hennala reception centre in Lahti will see its current capacity of 600 people reduced to 450 people.
Likewise, the Lakisto reception centre in Espoo for minors will see its maximum capacity cut in half, from 80 people to 40.
Immigration Service assisting migrants to leave
On Thursday the Finnish Immigration Service announced it had opened a transit department, established to assist asylum seekers who voluntarily wish to return home.
The transit department, which is being set up in the city of Vantaa, is primarily intended for Iraqi asylum seekers who have cancelled their asylum application or received a negative asylum decision and want to return quickly, the Immigration Service said in a press release issued on Thursday.
“The idea with the transit department is to accommodate those who are returning closer to the airport, which facilitates travel arrangements and returning in a number of ways. If an asylum seeker returns through the transit department, his or her journey to Iraq will be arranged, but he or she will not receive financial assistance for voluntary return,” the Immigration Service press release reads.
“Asylum seekers who are returning to other countries than Iraq or need other assistance than a travel ticket can still apply for assisted voluntary repatriation in their reception centre,” the release reads.