Norway: Pakistanis support closing borders

Ten years ago it was the Right who wanted to close the borders in order to "take care of our own". Today more and more Norwegian-Pakistani politicians use the same arguments.

Center Party politician Danny Ghazanfar says it's important to take care of those who were here first, just like we take care of our own elderly. Ghazanfar is the Center Party's most profiled immigrant politician and was number two on the party's parliament list in Oslo 2005. Tlday he's part of the party's Oslo leadership. He wants to close the borders to refugees and asylum seekers.

Ghazanfar says it's clear that we must keep to international obligations, but that now it's time to slow down. Norway has taken in enough refugees, and now it's time to try and take care of those who are already here. He will work for the Center Party to support a more restrictive asylum and refugee policy, and says that the government is being too nice.

He's also skeptic about the liberal policies when it comes to work-immigrants. According to the Polish embassy there are 100,000-200,000 Polish workers in Norway, compared to 28,200 Pakistanis.

He says that the Center Party opposes EU membership, and to be against the EU is also to be against the whole world coming to Norway. As long as there's high unemployment among immigrants we shouldn't take in more from abroad, he says.

Yousuf Gilani, a politician in Drammen, thinks there are more and more among immigrants who support Ghazanfar's opinion. He says that especially 2nd generation immigrant agree with Ghazanfar and that the reason is the crime rate among many of the new immigrant groups.

Gilani believes that the man in the street doesn't differentiate between Norwegian-Pakistanis and other groups. This results in Norwegian-Pakistanis are even more stigmatized. He says that we must dare to be more restrictive and that Norway must be able to manage those who are already here.

But there's a group neither Chanzanfar nor Gilani wish to stop: their Pakistani relatives and others who wish to do family reunification.

Gilani says that the rules for family reunification are already too strict in Norway today. People should have a right to have their relatives visit.

Parliament representative for the labor party, Saera T. Khan, says she understand the concerns of many Norwegian-Pakistanis and has heard them many times. She says she knows that many Norwegian-Pakistanis think this way, but that the legitimacy of the asylum institute shouldn't be weakened. Those who have a right to protection must get protection and if already, throw out the illegal immigrants. She thinks it's wrong to close the borders for new immigrant groups and says that one group must not be set against another. Legal asylum seekers also have a right to protection and possibilities to become integrated.

She thinks it's also important not to mix together the asylum and immigrant debate, and that only the Progress Party benefits from mixing the struggle for a more including society and the struggle to keep the asylum institute.

Source: Dagbladet (Norwegian) h/t Hodja (Danish)

See also: Oslo: Integration before further immigration

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