20 Refugee or Immigrant?
• A refugee (flykting) is someone who flees from the region of his/her birth.
• He or she may be fleeing war or oppression.
• Most people who flee (in various parts of the world) don't come to Europe, much less to Sweden.
• Immigrants are those who "migrate in." That is, move to a new country.
(Immigrants are those who "wander in", in Swedish: "invandrare")
• People leave the lands of their birth and immigrate to Sweden to study, to work, for love, for family, or to flee.
• To settle permanently in Sweden, you need permission (except for citizens of the Nordic countries).
• Mr F immigrated to Sweden.
• Mr F got permission to stay because he was married to a Swedish citizen. (Living together would have been OK too.)
• Citizens in EU countries may come to Sweden to look for work or to study.
â–º Give an example of an immigrant who is not a refugee.
â–º "Immigrant" ≠ "refugee". Explain!
â–º What propels an (extremely small) part of the world's population to find their way to Sweden?
â–º What motivates the vast majority of people in the vast majority of countries to stay? (Would you prefer life as a foreigner in a rich land to life as a native in a poor or oppressed land which is at war from time to time?)
22 Refugee Camps
• Sweden & most other countries have signed the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
• Those countries have promised to give asylum (asyl) to people fleeing war or oppression.
• Many people would love to live in rich, peaceful Sweden. Sweden's Migration Board (Migrationsverket) tries to sort out those who have good reasons to stay in Sweden from those who don't.
• It can be quite a burden for an asylum-seeker to not know if he or she will be allowed to stay.
• Most Swedes want to "help their fellow man" quite simply because it is the right thing to do. At the same time, most are unhappy with how the immigration process works.
• Immigration effects how much money the state, the regional authorities (landsting), and the local authorities have. Just like everyone else, immigrants pay taxes and fees, but also get schooling, health care, etc.
• Immigration will pay off for Sweden — in the long run.¹
â–º What is the "Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees" all about?
â–º Some asylum seekers are granted asylum. How is it decided which ones?
â–º How ought the authorities best deal with immigration? What do you think? Why?
â–º People around the world watch films (movies) and see other pictures of a more peaceful and fairly luxurious life in Europe and in North America. To what extent do those images contribute to millions of people moving? Why?