The True Finns party has brought the debate about immigration to the forefront of Finnish political and social discussions. Now a Somali refugee has gone on the record in opposition to family reunifications for unemployed immigrants.
Unemployment is high among Somali immigrants, so what’s the deal here? Is Mr. Mohamed’s stance perhaps an example of clan rivalry among different Somali refugee groups? Or is he simply an unusually civic-minded man?
Somali Leader: An unemployed person should not be allowed family reunification in Finland
A refugee from Somalia who came to Finland, Nur Mohamed, age 42, criticizes family reunifications for his fellow countrymen. Nur Mohamed, who is the chairman of the Somali Community in Finland Society, says the unemployed should not be entitled to family reunification.
“If a Somali works as a bus driver or in construction, he’s entitled to bring his own family here. If a person is unemployed and receives income support, then the whole process becomes difficult. There will be a big bill to pay,” says the man from Espoo who moved to Finland in 1992.
According to laws concerning aliens, a means of support guarantees reunification. It does not apply in a case concerning an alien who satisfies the criteria for refugee status. Somalis often meet this criterion.
– – – – – – – – –
Of the applications to the Immigration Service in 2009 coming from outside the nuclear family, 1256 instances were from Somalia. Much of this applied to foster children. Last year, 74 Russians applied to Finland from outside the nuclear family. Most of them were grandmothers.
The Immigration Agency’s immigration department director, Heikki Taskinen, believes that the relaxing of the regulations regarding aliens can cause grandmothers to cast their gaze towards Finland.
“Russians have sought applications infrequently, because the permit costs and opportunities for obtaining permission are small. If the policy is changed, it may be that the number of applications increases. Of course it sends a signal, if the policy is strict.”