Norway: An interview with Sylvi Listhaug, Norway’s Minister for Immigration & Integration. We posted about her months ago and we continue to be impressed with her courage and common sense.
– Interview conducted by Fraser Nelson at the Spectator.
** We would not call it perfect and we certainly believe Visegrad’s approach is the model for Europe, but Norway is starting to take action and is seeing positive results. When Sweden accepted 160,000 asylum-seekers in 2015, the Norwegians took in 30,000 – and this year, so far, it’s 2,000. No country has seen a sharper fall in refugees.
Listhaug outlines ten points regarding migration. We especially liked these points:
1) The tougher moral question: how do you help them (refugees)? If you can help far more refugees in camps abroad for the cost of helping one at home, should you not do so? Ms Listhaug had just met Brandon Lewis, her British counterpart. He’d given her a ratio: for the cost of helping 3,000 refugees who arrive in Britain, the UK government could help 100,000 refugees in camps overseas. Amazing.
4) Norway turns away economic migrants. “If you are an economic migrant, you are declined in Norway. We give protection for the ones that need that, that are in danger in their own country but we also spend a lot of money to return people that are declined in Norway, also by force.” Police are sent to look for illegal immigrants in restaurants and other places ‘where black [market] labour is common… if we find them we will send them out. That has also decreased the crime in Norway, that’s very good.’
5) Deportation works. I asked her if this is expensive. “Yes, but it’s well worth it. It’s about the deterring message,” she says, underling the futility of coming to Norway without proper cause.
6) The dramatic fall in Norway’s refugee intake has led to a dramatic rise in money spent helping refugees in camps abroad.
7) Listhaug thinks the 1951 UN Refugee Convention is a document ‘for its time‘ and does not reflect the modern realities of people trafficking and globalization. The 1951 Convention was written to stop a repetition of the 1930s and obliges signatories to help anyone with a ‘well-founded fear of persecution’. As the global total of refugees surges, this is problematic and creates an incentive for people traffickers.
8. Norway regards people trafficking as a modern evil that is being fed by the system of accepting whoever turns up.
9) Norway has learned not to care too much about international consensus.
10) Norway’s approach is increasingly shared by other countries. As Listhaug puts it: ‘A lot of countries in Europe are thinking more like us: like Denmark and Austria. Germany, as well… France has big problems right now with integration, as does Belgium. A lot of countries in Europe see that we need this under control.’
*** Of course, Visegrad has a slightly different approach that works for them. They don’t face the problems associated with deportation because they secured their borders and do not offer the incentives to lure the economic migrants. Like Norway, Visegrad is also helping many refugees in their own homelands or close to it. They believe this is the most humane and efficient way to assist true refugees while protecting Europeans from the dangers of mass migration.
Nevertheless, we like the actions of Listhaug. Unlike others, Norway realized the problem and is now taking concrete steps to deal with it. What are the leaders of Sweden doing to tackle the crisis that is tearing their country apart?
We think the future is bright for Listhaug. We are encouraged regarding her efforts to challenge the 1951 (67 years ago) UN Refugee Convention. Onward!