They should have been enforced from the very beginning, and the overwhelming majority of Muslim settlers streaming to the borders, turned away.

Stricter asylum requirements take effect: 10 percent of Iraqi applications approved in June

Finland now judges Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia to be safe countries, and this has changed its asylum granting policy. A radical jump in the number of negative decisions was noted in June, once the new policy came into effect. Iraqi citizen Sabah Anzi heard his application was rejected three weeks ago.

Sabah Anzi odottaa paluumatkaa Punavuoren vastaanottokeskuksessa.
Sabah Anzi Image: Ronnie Holmberg / Yle

As of July, Finland still has 17,000 asylum seekers waiting on their decision from the state. 10,000 of the people awaiting word of their fate are from Iraq, 3,700 from Afghanistan, 1,500 from Somalia, fewer than 500 are from Syria and over 400 originate from Iran.

The Finnish Immigration Service has made concerted efforts to pick up the pace of its asylum decision-making this spring. It has hired 500 new staff and is currently churning out more than 500 decisions per week.

Finland grants asylum to people who feel they encounter personal persecution in their home country. Subsidiary protection is granted to those who face the death penalty or serious personal danger due to an armed conflict.

Until May 17 of this year, asylum seekers also were eligible to receive asylum in Finland for humanitarian reasons, but this was repealed in May with an amendment to the Aliens Act.

The Finnish Immigration Service also changed its policy in May with regard to people from the countries of Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. The official stand is now that people can be returned to these countries, as they face no serious personal danger there. The change also means that the agency can deny an asylum application if there is reason to believe that the person in question can find a place to live in safety within the country’s borders.

More here.

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