Wednesday, October 20

Escape and asylum: the ruling parties disagree on this

SV will be able to shed light on the refugee quota and the importance of children’s rights, believes Jan-Paul Brekke. In the photo: Refugees cross the Maritsa river between Turkey and Greece.

In some spots it will shine.

This is a chronicle. Opinions in the text are the responsibility of the writer.

What will refugee and asylum policy be like if the Labor Party (Labor Party), the Center Party (Social Democrats) and the Socialist Left Party (Social Democrats) form a government? Party programs indicate that a common policy may be close to the Sp line.

This time, immigration and asylum politicians were not discussed in the election campaign. Probably no one other than the Progress Party felt they had something to gain by talking about that issue. Therefore, the differences between the parties did not surface.

When the Labor Party, the Socialist People’s Party and the Socialist People’s Party now sit at the table in Hurdal, disagreements must be on the table. In some spots it will shine.

This is what they agree on

First: the three parties agree on various parts of the asylum and refugee policy. This applies, for example, to Norway working on the causes of flight, to integration that begins as soon as asylum seekers arrive in the country, and to the emphasis on the UN refugee quota.

Therefore, the UN refugee plan will be strong in Norwegian politics in the future. Here, however, there will certainly be a tug of war between the three parties over how many quota refugees Norway will accept.

While the Labor Party believes that the number must be weighed against the number of asylum seekers coming, SV will follow the UN’s recommendations. This will mean increasing the quota from 3,000 to 5,000 refugees per year. year. At this point, Sp is content to point out that it is fairer for refugees to go through the UN than for them to come as asylum seekers.

This is what they disagree on

At the same time, the parties disagree in several key areas. These include:

  • more asylum seekers will receive temporary rather than permanent permits
  • it will be easier or more difficult to withdraw residence permits
  • Norway will focus on processing asylum applications outside Europe
  • the rules will be stricter for family immigration

In addition, the parties will have to discuss plans to create care centers where unaccompanied minor asylum seekers who are rejected can be sent back.

Some may be surprised that Sp seems less restrictive than Labor

On the whole, the Labor Party has the strictest line on these points, while the Social Democrats fall in the middle. SV sticks to a softer line. Some may be surprised that Sp seems less restrictive than Labor.

More temporary?

After the asylum crisis in 2015, the use of temporary residence permits in Norway increased. The high number of arrivals at that time made almost all parties agree on this. In the past six years, it has also become more difficult to obtain permanent residence.

At the same time, it is now easier to lose the residence permit, either because there is a suspicion that incorrect information has been provided in the application process or because it has become safe in the country of origin.

Labor wants to continue this line. They also propose a greater use of temporary permits for people with subsidiary protection, that is, those who are not individually persecuted, but who still need protection.

While Sp doesn’t have a separate topic on this on the show, SV advocates less use of temporary permissions. Also, SV wants the path to permanent residence to be shorter. The Solberg government extended the waiting period for permanent residence from three to five years. SV will return to three years.

It is not easy to withdraw residence permits granted to refugees. Norwegian bureaucrats have realized this for the past five years.

Two types of cases have been particularly challenging:

  • One is the cases where there is a suspicion of incorrect information, but where people have been in the country for many years.
  • The other is the cases in which the refugees have done everything right, but are still being asked to leave the country because the authorities consider that it has become safe in their country of origin.

The last type of case only applies until you obtain permanent residence.

Both SV and Sp want to set a limit where after a certain number of years it is not possible to withdraw the permit, even if there is a suspicion that incorrect information has been provided. Labor does not propose changes.

Party programs say nothing about the criteria for sending refugees back if they become safe in their home country within a specified time. However, that issue will certainly be addressed during the talks between the three parties.

Should other countries process “our” asylum applications?

Both the Labor Party and the Socialist People’s Party believe that it may be relevant to move the processing of asylum applications to countries outside the EU. SV clearly says no to such a solution. This is a proposal that is being debated in European countries at a time when there are many asylum seekers.

Both the Labor Party and the Socialist People’s Party believe that it may be relevant to move the processing of asylum applications to countries outside the EU. SV clearly says no to such a solution.

Denmark has taken the lead in this exploration, but is struggling to find partner countries and models that can work.

Tougher on family immigration?

SV believes that the rules for family immigration should be relaxed. The right to family reunification should be easier and cheaper, they believe.

Labor wants to toughen for those who have subsidiary protection: “The right to family reunification will be limited” for this group.

Once again, Sp has a middle position, where the frames should be as they are now.

Center of attention in the country of origin?

The Labor Party proposes to establish care centers in the country of origin for young asylum seekers with rejection. The idea is that these can be sent back there and stay there until they turn 18 or are reunited with the family.

SV and Sp do not comment directly on this proposal, but both emphasize the strengthening of the rights of this group.

If the Labor Party mentions this proposal, it could be a red cloth for SV. Presumably staying away from the negotiating table. Furthermore, it is first and foremost a center in Kabul that has been discussed, which will now be out of the question.

So what is the policy?

On the basis of the parties’ programs, the three parties should be able to find a common asylum policy.

Presumably, politics will be closer to the SP’s program, that is, somewhere between the positions of the Labor Party and the Socialist People’s Party.

Few asylum seekers arrive in Norway today and net immigration is lower than in a long time. This will make it easier for the Labor Party to sideline some of the tougher measures, at least until further notice.

SV will be able to shed light on the refugee quota and the importance of children’s rights. With moderate demands from the Labor Party and the Socialist People’s Party, the Socialist People’s Party will also be able to leave the negotiating table satisfied.

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