Saturday, October 24, 2015

Refugees and Sweden: My perspective PART FIVE Conclusion

As the son of immigrants, I think I have some experience in this area. My siblings and I grew up with the Swedish language and traditions, even if we lived in Chicago. My nieces and nephew knew of their Swedish heritage and are proud of their heritage. My parent’s great grandchildren have less of a feeling of pride in their heritage, than my nieces and nephew. I suspect this is what will happen with all the refugees seeking a residence permit, and being granted one, and their children. 

The descendants of immigrants integrated into the new society. They accept the norms and tradition of the country in which they live, including the laws. She writes: “…the central train station in Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, has been overrun with migrants; the volunteers that for the first few days showed up with food, water and clothes now seem to have lost interest.” This statement is incorrect. I have daily contact with a group of salvationists that are at the central train station in Malmö, almost every evening. Where she draws the conclusion that the volunteers in Malmö have lost interest in continuing to help the arriving refugees is – in my view – blowing in the wind. She has not factual basis on which to assert this, much less to present it as a fact.

The Future

The Swedish government, as well as the governments of other countries where refugees have landed, is going to have to build up quickly structures that will be capable of handling all of the refugees arriving on our door-step. As an example – Malmö during the crisis that happened during the collapse of the former Yugoslavia – had an (Invandrarförvaltning) Immigrant Department, which it no longer has. 

“Migrationsverket” started toward the end of the crisis to start a program called “Kontaktnätet” Contact Network. The idea was to pair an immigrant with a Swede, in the hope they would become friends. As friends do, they would help one another. The Swede would be a good resource for the immigrant, as to which agency of government helps with a particular problem. This program no longer exists. I think these foreshadow the likely course of action in Sweden, at least something like this, once again. 

There is going to, once again, be a need for para-legal counselling services directed to these refugees. All refugees in Sweden are entitled to have a barrister or solicitor that will represent them with their applications for asylum. I assume, things will be as they were in the 90s, that these barristers and solicitors do not invest in doing a lot of research to obtain documentation necessary to prove that they are refugees. During the 90s I built a contact network with attorneys and government ministers and agencies in the country of origin. I supplied attorneys throughout Sweden with new information. The new information resulted in new briefs being filed on behalf of their clients. It is only through volunteer para-legal to dig up.

These are some of the changes that I foresee happening in the near future.

Let me close by once again citing the words of the fourth General of The Salvation Army, General Evangeline Booth: “There is no reward equal to that of doing the most good to the most people in the most need”.

Leonard Johnson
FSAOF Sweden


Kjell Edlund said...

As you know well, I live and work in the North of Sweden. The city of Boden is the imigration center for this part of the country were all of the imigrants who aply for asylum is rallyed.
This has recently resulted in, as you understand, a quite big inflow of people to the city, or small town wich it really is.

Every day ( ! ) I fight racism at work.

The impact of the sd's (Sweden democrats) propaganda is HUGE on every day people, not least the fragil ones that we a working with.

So, thank you Leonard for the imputs given by this series of articels.
Well grounded and with a sharp edge!

Kjell-Erik Edlund
Former officer

Anonymous said...

Leonard . var snäll och översätt, min engelska är inte så bra!
Varje kår, vare sig det är i Sverige eller i något annat europeiskt land dit flyktingar kommer, borde efter bästa förmåga delta i hjälpen till flyktingarna, det spelar ingen roll om de är muslimer eller kristna. Jag vet också att det inte alls är ovanligt att muslimer har en tro som inte enbart handlar om vad Profeten har sagt utan en tro på Gud. Deras tro skiljer sig inte så mycket från vår, man har behov av att vända sig till den Allsmäktige både i glädje, sorg och nöd. Jag tror inte att vi skall missionera bland dem med ord utan med gärningar och kärlek. Det är inte så ovanligt att muslimer blir kristna, även om man är försiktig med att tala om det av rädsla för att bli utestängda från sin familj och vänner.
BG "former" Sweden