The leader of the populist Sweden Democrats, the third most popular party in the country, argued that asylum immigration must be reduced to zero during a televised debate which aired yesterday.
On Monday, Swedish state media outlet SVT broadcast a discussion about immigration policy between Sweden Democrat chief Jimmie Åkesson and the Center Party’s migration policy spokesperson Jonny Cato, Nyheter Idag reports.
The topic of the discussion: whether or not Sweden should put a numerical cap on the immigrants that it allows into the country.
In short, the Center Party’s migration spokesperson argued that Sweden should not limit just how many people are allowed to apply for asylum, arguing that it wouldn’t be “compatible with the right to claim asylum”.
“It is also the case that the situation in the outside world determines whether people have protection reasons or not. If you come to Sweden, you should have your protection reason tested and if you have protection reason you should also be allowed to stay,” said Cato.
Åkesson took a different position, arguing that asylum immigration should be brought down to at least zero, if not reduced to a net negative level, since the Swedish welfare is already under heavy stress due to mass migration and the coronavirus crisis.
“We have not said no to a volume target, but if we are to have a volume target it must be zero, or net minus. The situation in Sweden is so strained that we cannot receive more. It’s not possible. On the contrary, more people have to return,” Åkesson argued.
“There is no room for any asylum immigration at all to Sweden,” the 41-year-old Sweden Democrat head added.
Åkesson then brought up the massive number of deaths which have occurred in elderly housing facilities as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
“We have a mass death in elderly housing in Sweden today. I wish to handle this before I deal with the citizens of other countries.”
“Humanity is not just about the citizens of other countries, but also about our own,” Åkesson said.
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