Finnish Immigration Concerns



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Räsänen: Give protection only to refugees who can integrate well

Interviewed on Yle’s Euro Election series on Friday night, the Interior Minister revealed that she has been looking at how well different immigrant groups have adapted to life in Finland, as a basis for proposed changes to the country’s asylum policy. The minister claimed that Vietnamese refugees have fitted in well, though she refused to divulge which groups she judges as having failed to integrate well enough.

Päivi Räsäsnen
Christian Democrats leader Päivi Räsänen ahead of Yle’s pre-election interview on Friday Image: Sanna Savikko / Yle

Finland should only provide protection to refugees who can assimilate well into Finnish life and society, Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen told Yle on Friday. The European election candidate singled out Vietnamese immigrants as an example of the type of asylum seekers Finland should accept, claiming they have adapted successfully.

Räsänen said she would not reveal which groups she did not judge to be well integrated.

Speaking on Yle’s series of interviews with MEP candidates in the runup to the European parliament elections on May 25, Räsänen defended her recent statement that Finland should be more stringent in choosing which refugees it gives protection to.

The leader of the Christian Democrats party insisted that she did not believe asylum seekers should be admitted on the grounds of their religion, despite having in the past called for preference to be given to persecuted Christians.

”It makes sense that refugees should have access to countries where they are able to integrate,” Räsänen said. “I’m not saying religion is a basis on which to accept someone, but yes, we have been looking at immigrant groups, and we are thinking about which groups have integrated well,” the Interior Minister said.

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