Sweden mulls laws allowing govt to deport immigrants for ‘shortcomings in lifestyle’

© Jonathan Nackstrand, AFP

Sweden said Tuesday it wanted to introduce new requirements that would allow the deportation of asylum-seekers and immigrants for substance abuse, association with criminal groups or statements threatening Swedish values.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson's minority rightwing government came to power a year ago – with backing from the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) – vowing to crack down on immigration and crime.

"A prerequisite for successful integration is that people who want to live in Sweden also adhere to basic norms and live in an honest and well-behaved way," Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard told a press conference held with SD.

Rights groups have yet to comment on the initiative.

Paulina Brandberg, Minister for Gender Equality, told reporters the government would review Swedish legislation to determine if there were specific grounds for revoking residence permits.

However, she listed potential examples of "shortcomings in lifestyles," including benefits fraud, debt, a dishonest livelihood, substance abuse, as well as association with criminal networks or violent and extremist groups "threatening basic Swedish values".

Brandberg said the review would also look into "whether it's possible and appropriate to include statements that seriously threaten basic Swedish democratic values."

Former judge Robert Schott was appointed to head the review, which is to report by mid-January 2025.


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