“Immigration officials have granted her a year-long residence permit. Lado is the first person harboured by the church to have won the right to stay in the country.” […] Matti Heinonen, Branch Manager with the Finnish Immigration Service confirmed that Lado, who once lived in hiding, can now exist freely in Finland for as long as she wishes, and can even apply for citizenship once she’s fulfilled residence criteria.”
This does indeed set a precedent for future refugees seeking shelter in Finland, and something that I have mixed feelings about. It is always best for the refugee to find safe haven from the nearest state possible. That said, I find it difficult to turn someone away who is really in need, being physically persecuted for whatever the reason in their home countries. I do however, feel that refugees cannot be allowed to circumvent the governmental system already in place to handle such cases, as well as local churches taking upon themselves to help thwart immigration decisions that they disagree with.
No one I know of, or would associate with, would ever turn down a person who was truly in need. But it is a fact of life that people will abuse a system for their own benefit if allowed to do so. No matter how well intentioned church members and their leaders may be, they simply do not have the resources to properly ascertain the exact circumstance an individual says he or she is fleeing from. Though any governmental body or policy is far from perfect, descending into anarchy for the sake of good intentions, is not the sensible road to take. Refugees must be allowed to apply for asylum and their cases taken seriously, one by one, and the Finnish immigration offices decisions respected, no matter what the final decision may be.
Open border policies that some are promoting, which boil down to a free right of passage to anyone claiming that he or she is a persecuted person –no matter what the extenuating circumstance may be– is stupid, and detrimental to Finnish sovereignty. Finland does not have to imitate Sweden in every respect. I welcome Anna Lado to Finland if she is truly a persecuted person, and thus she deserves shelter from harm.
I do not welcome however, anyone that follows her that is not a true refugee in every sense of the word, or who could have found a safe haven closer to home but chose not to do so. More here. *L* KGS