Sweden: Gov't to tighten family reunification laws

Immigrants to Sweden will find it harder to get residence permits for close relatives in future, after the four governing parties agreed to tighten policy on the issue.

The government agreed to the new policy on Thursday after the Christian Democrats dropped their objections. The party, a junior member of the coalition, had previously objected on humanitarian grounds to plans to force the immigrants to show that they could support themselves and had somewhere to live, according to SVT.

The negotiations between the four party leaders have resulted in a draft directive to a government inquiry, which will bring out concrete proposals for changes to the law.

The Christian Democrats' refugee spokesman, Lars Gustafsson, said his party had previously been "completely opposed" to a demand that relatives could support themselves, but said they had now agreed to "some form of demand that people support themselves."

"One thing that has been important for us is that someone who gets a residence permit should not be required to support his or her entire family. That requirement is now gone. It is enough to be able to support yourself," he said.

The opposition Left Party's refugee spokesman, Kalle Larsson, said the agreement was "one of the most serious infractions on refugees' human rights to happen for many years."

"It is very worrying, and a clear signal that the government is allowing itself to be inspired by Danish refugee policy," Larsson said in a statement.

Source: The Local (English)

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