Lessons From Sweden On Border Control - Will We Listen?

News Image By Peter Parisi/The Daily Signal June 22, 2023
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It wasn't exactly profundity on display when Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson declared earlier this month that "massive immigration and poor integration simply do not work."

To the contrary, it was a keen grasp of the obvious, but one that's been lost to willful blindness on the part of President Joe Biden and his hapless homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, who in effect have rung the dinner bell at our wide-open southwestern border and hollered the multilingual equivalent of "Olly olly oxen free."

Kristersson, the leader of the center-right Moderate Party, shared his views on the havoc wrought by unchecked immigration on National Day of Sweden (as you might infer, a national holiday) in a June 6 opinion piece for the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

According to the, he announced plans for changes to the Scandinavian nation's border-control policy "making it the strictest in the European Union."

That's somewhere between "better late than never" and locking the barn door after the thoroughbred has galloped off.

Even Magdalena Andersson of the liberal Swedish Social Democratic Party--who Kristersson succeeded as prime minister in October--conceded that allowing mass immigration into Sweden over the past two decades and especially during the "refugee crisis" of the mid-2010s was a mistake.

Sweden took in more people per capita than any other European Union country during the 2015 refugee crisis, Reuters reported. People born abroad now make up about one-fifth of Sweden's population of 10.4 million.

Andersson was part of a government that allowed some 180,000 war refugees and economic migrants into the country, many of them from countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Syria. Rather than assimilate into Swedish society, many of the immigrants, mostly Muslims, created ethnic ghettos, some of them regarded as unsafe "no-go zones" for outsiders.

In October 2021, Germany's Bild newspaper ran a headline that asserted that Sweden "is the most dangerous country in Europe."

The country has faced a dramatic increase in crime and now is the rape captial of Europe.

The U.S., likewise, is suffering grievous--and likely irreparable--damage from the Biden administration's horrific open-borders policies, especially from Mexican cartels engaged in the enormously lucrative trafficking of humans (including sex-trafficking) and the smuggling of fentanyl and other lethal drugs.

Kristersson said that henceforth Sweden would seek to ensure that would-be immigrants hadn't committed any crimes in their countries of origin and would include tests of their respect for Swedish heritage and culture.

Biden and Mayorkas are doing neither of those things, which should be an absolute bare minimum, as millions of mostly unvetted migrants from all over the world--not just from Central and South America--are allowed to spill across the U.S.-Mexican border and from there are transported to the interior of the country.

It's as if the president and his Department of Homeland Security chief are co-hosts of a nightmarish version of "The Price Is Right," in which everything (food, shelter, transportation, and more) is provided free to the contestants, who unsurprisingly have heeded the call to "Come on down!"--or in this case, "Come on up!"

Kristersson--whose party is in a coalition government in the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament, with the conservative Sweden Democrats party--correctly described citizenship as a "social contract" that "contains both rights and obligations."

Heretofore, the Swedish leader said, "There has been absolutely no expectation that anyone who comes to Sweden will really learn our language." That, he explained, is the "glue that binds us together."

Contrast that eminently sensible perspective with that of then-Sen. Barack Obama, who on the presidential campaign trail in July 2008 said he agreed that immigrants should learn English, albeit with this dismissive caveat: "Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English--they'll learn English--you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish."

(Note that that doesn't address the countless other languages spoken by the more than 6.2 million migrants that Customs and Border Protection says it has encountered since Biden threw open the floodgates nearly two-and-a-half years ago.)

Obviously, the ability to speak more than one language is commendable, but it shouldn't be necessary for English speakers in a country where English is, if not the official language, certainly the lingua franca for success.

But immigrants--legal immigrants, that is--should treat learning English as obligatory if they are to avoid the "poor integration" that Kristersson laments and to fully assimilate into American society, rather than remaining ghettoized in self-segregated ethnic enclaves that only turn the great American "melting pot" into a pressure cooker.

Originally published at The Daily Signal - reposted with permission.

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