Swedish Government Seeks to Increase Criminal Deportations: "Not Enough Are Being Deported"

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.02 - 2024 5:20 PM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The government is aiming to implement stricter regulations to deport more criminals.

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The Swedish government, in collaboration with the Sweden Democrats, is taking steps to tighten its deportation policies for foreign nationals convicted of crimes in Sweden.

The Minister of Migration, Maria Malmer Stenergard, voiced concerns that the current deportation rates are insufficient relative to the crimes committed.

"We don't think enough people are being deported given the crimes that are being committed," Stenergard told TV4 Nyheterna.

As it stands, only 4.4 percent of all foreign nationals convicted of crimes in Sweden are also sentenced to deportation. This statistic is viewed by the government as unacceptably low given the nature and frequency of crimes committed.

Proposed Changes

In response, the government has launched an investigation aimed at tightening the rules for deportation due to criminal activity, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of deportations.

The government's proposal includes redefining the minimum criteria required for deportation.

Currently, these criteria include a penalty value of at least six months or evidence of recidivism. The new proposal suggests adding specific types of crimes to this list, which would automatically trigger deportation proceedings, although these specific crimes have yet to be detailed.

The proposal advocates for a mandatory obligation for prosecutors to demand deportation when prosecuting foreign nationals. This change aims to ensure that deportation becomes a standard consideration in the sentencing of convicted foreigners.

Another proposed change is the increase in penalties for violating a re-entry ban, tightening the consequences for those who attempt to return to Sweden illegally after deportation.

Additionally, special deportation exemptions currently granted to individuals who arrived in Sweden before the age of 15 are recommended to be abolished, streamlining the deportation process regardless of age at arrival.

Carrying out deportations poses challenges, especially when countries of origin refuse to accept their citizens back or when there are ongoing armed conflicts making returns unsafe or unfeasible.

According to Malmer Stenergard, the Swedish government will intensify its diplomatic efforts to negotiate with these countries to facilitate the deportation process.

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