News: A Shift in Sweden’s Iraqi Refugee Policy

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Sweden has admitted thousands of Iraqi refugees in the past few years; considerably more than the US has allowed to resettle with in its own borders. However, according to a recent article by the The Austin American-Statesman, Sweden has tightened its policy:

A recent decision by the Superior Court of Migration said that Iraqis must now prove they are personally in danger of persecution before being granted asylum. As a result, only 42 percent of Iraqi refugees were allowed to stay in Sweden in January, compared with 93 percent in January 2007.

To compare Sweden’s intake of Iraqi refugees with the US’, consider the following:

Sweden, a country of 9.1 million people that played no part in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, received nearly 18,600 Iraqi refugees in 2007. By contrast, 1,608 Iraqis were admitted as refugees to the United States in 2007.

With Syria’s recent restrictions and now Sweden’s, the US ought to fulfill its promise to accept 12,000 refugees for the fiscal year, although, as reports show, the slow rate of US acceptance may lead the US to renege on its promise.


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