Oslo: Integration before further immigration

Oslo City Council leader Erling Lae and mayoral candidate Fabian Stang believe that Oslo's immigrants need to be integrated before new immgrants can come in.

The Conservative Party politicians call for a halt to immigration until the integration process is improved.

"For Oslo it must be important to do everything possible to integrate those who are here properly before discussing taking in new immigrants," Stang told NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting).

"We must be honest and say that all of the family reunifications are a strain on our city," Lae told Aftenposten.no.

In the past year there have been 5,000 family reunifications in Oslo, and Lae believes this increases immigrant unemployment. He also believes that the primary reason behind living standard differences in the capital is immigrant women living isolated from Norwegian society.

"One of the most important things we can do is to get immigrant women into employment," Lae said.

One solution to the demands is stricter regulations about asylum seekers remaining in the region where they are placed.

"We can't put up a wall around Oslo, but it is important that we demand stricter rules," Lae said.

Frank Aarebrot, Professor of Comparative Politics, believes that the claims are a stunt for the local election campaign, and that the Conservative politicians are hoping to nab some of the populist Progress Party's voters.

Lae said that the comment given to NRK was a reply to an article in the weekly Mandag Morgen (Monday Morning), which argued for increased immigration in Norway and the rest of Europe.

"We should not be discussing increased immigration now. The most important thing for us is the debate about integration," Lae said.

Source: Aftenposten (English)

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