Sweden to introduce mandatory reporting of illegals by public employees with fines imposed for those who don’t comply

FILE - Swedish Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard speaks with the media as she arrives for a meeting of EU interior ministers at the European Council in Brussels on Thursday, March 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

The Swedish government is seeking to crack down on illegal immigration by introducing a mandatory requirement for public institutions to report instances when they come into contact with migrants in an irregular situation amid reports that more than 100,000 people are living in the country illegally.

At a press conference on Thursday, Swedish Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard announced that employees of public institutions will soon be obliged to notify the authorities of encounters with illegal immigrants and may face punitive action should they not comply.

“The proposal for mandatory reporting of illegals in the public sector can counteract the shadow society,” Stenergard told the press.

She explained the move is “an important step in the paradigm shift that the current government is implementing in migration policy.”

Public offices that may be compelled to report illegal immigrants could include job centers, social welfare offices, and libraries, although some institutions may be exempt.

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“Healthcare services may be exempted from the obligation to report illegal immigrants; it is not clear yet whether schools will also be exempted,” Stenergard said.

Those who are found not to comply with the reporting requirements could find themselves in trouble.

“We have rules today about misconduct, and it could be a civil procedure where fines are involved. But the investigator must look at what is reasonable and appropriate in terms of consequences,” said the minister.

She added the plans were necessary to crack down on the estimated 100,000 individuals currently living in Sweden without permission.

Those critical of the plan claim that such a move could dissuade individuals from seeking help from authorities and exacerbate the “shadow society” the minister seeks to eradicate.

In addition to the proposed reporting requirements, the center-right government, propped up by the right-wing Sweden Democrats, plans to extend the use of biometric screening, including the use of fingerprinting and facial recognition, to strengthen checks on people already living in the country.

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“It may involve fingerprints and photographs being taken and stored in more cases and for a longer period of time,” explained Christian Carlsson, migration spokesperson for the co-governing Christian Democrats.

Random immigration checks, which are currently not permitted in the country, may also be introduced.

Additionally, expiry dates on expulsion orders, which currently last for four years, could be extended or abolished, and the government is also exploring the possibility of introducing re-entry bans into the country.

The plans are expected to go through a consultation process ahead of being formally presented in January, with a final report expected in September next year.

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