Immigration crisis has been in the news for several years now and it is a hotly debated topic. Many refugees flee conflict-ridden region and go to places where they can live a better life. There’s always a concern that excessive immigration will have a negative impact on the native population. That’s one of the reasons why it is important to understand the implications of immigration of a specific population to a different country. There has been an influx of Somali Muslims into Sweden over the past couple of decades. This article explores its impact.
Why Do They Choose Sweden?
Sweden is a small country in Europe, but it has seen a great rise in the Somali population in recent years. Many seek to understand why these Somali immigrants choose Sweden over other countries in Europe like the neighboring region of Denmark. Here’s a look at some of the reasons:
· Sweden Accepts More Asylum Seekers – Sweden has the record of accepting the more asylum seekers than any other European country relative to their population. It accepted around 193,000 asylum seekers between the years of 2015 to 2016. Somali immigrants choose Sweden because they have a higher chance of being accepted there than any other country.
· Permanent Residency – Sweden is more likely to offer permanent residency to refugees than other countries. Some countries offer temporary residency with the condition that the refugees must return to their homeland if the conditions there improve.
· Presence of Family – Sweden has a sizable Somali population and many of these individuals are related to people seeking asylum. Most immigrants want to have personal connections with people of their own community. They find it easier to settle in a new country with a strong community in place.
· Social Benefits – Sweden offers great social benefits to asylum seekers. They get emergency temporary accommodation immediately after they arrive in Sweden. They then provide temporary housing and a daily benefit or welfare money to the refugees. Refugees also get free lessons to learn the local language, which can help them integrate better.
Sweden also promises a better quality of life than most countries in the world. The country has great educational, medical, and social establishments, which make this country appealing to the refugees.
How Do They Enter The Country
Asylum seekers need to be present in the country to be granted asylum. Somali residents manage to make their way to the country and present their case at the border or once they are in the country’s immigration authority centers. They can take any legitimate route to this the destination. Many Somali people get in touch with their relatives or acquaintances already present in Sweden to help them make the journey. They also seek their assistance for the migration process.
What Happens When They Establish Themselves
Somali population is largely concentrated in Borlange, Rinkeby-Kista, and Gothenburg. New Somali immigrants usually make their way to these communities and establish themselves. They then look for jobs to help maintain their lifestyle and become successful in life. Barriers in employment make it difficult for these individuals to get good jobs, which mean they remain on welfare money for a long time, which can be a drain on the government resources.
Somali people also form tight-knit communities instead of integrating with the native population of Sweden. That has led to segregation and a disconnect between the Somali community and the rest.
Are They Literate?
Somalis in Sweden have very low education rates. According to surveys conducted by the government, 44% of the Somalis in Sweden had low educational qualifications. In comparison, Somali immigrants in Canada and the United States had lower percentages of Somalis with poor education. 57% of the adults who migrate from Somalia have low education and they’re even less likely to pursue higher education in Sweden than the younger population.
Do They Live On Welfare?
Somali individuals who haven’t gained employment or started their own business do live on welfare for an extended period of time. Some Somali immigrants do gain good employment or start new businesses, but many remain on welfare.
Do They Have A Clan Culture?
Somalis value their culture and customs intensely. In fact, many Somali people become even more cultural and conservative when they settle in a different country. They also have an honor culture which is particularly restrictive towards women. Their clan culture unites the Somali community and causes them to favor their own above other Swedish or ethnic communities.
Are They A Threat Or A Benefit To Sweden
Somalis can benefit Sweden if they can integrate successfully into the country’s demographic. There are thriving Somali communities in the United States and in the UK. Both of these communities have started small businesses and revitalized the business atmosphere at the location. If the Swedish government can help people gain good employment or business opportunities, they won’t pose much of a threat to Swedish people.
However, lack of education, clan culture, honor culture, and lack of good employment can easily turn a population to illegal activities, which can pose a threat to other people living in Sweden. These immigrants are also susceptible to the influence of Muslim imams and can be easily radicalized.
Links To Criminality
The Somali community has links to crime, most particularly, violent crime. They are more likely to indulge in criminal activity than many other immigrant populations. According to an old survey, one in five Somali immigrant men between the ages of 18-23 are suspected of a violent crime.
Incidences of crime are alarmingly prominent in this community, especially among low-income and low-education groups.