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    Thousands of Migrants 'Disappear' in Sweden After Deportation Orders

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    An increasing number of asylum seekers go underground in Sweden after receiving deportation orders, leaving the country’s migration authorities powerless, local media reported Sunday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Last year, 7599 people who received deportation orders chose to return to their home countries voluntarily, while 11,112 decided to stay and became police matters.

    “We do not have any system to control what they do or don’t do,” Sverker Spaak of the Swedish Migration Agency said, as quoted by Helsingborgs Dagblad.

    “They simply disappear,” Spaak said, adding that most of these people came to Sweden under the Dublin Regulation.

    The regulation stipulates that refugees must ask for asylum in the EU state where they first arrived in order to prevent the applicant from seeking asylum in several countries.

    These are often states such as Greece and Italy, which have substantially less extensive welfare systems than Sweden. The applicant may, however, reapply in 18 months.

    “It is clear that if you are from Syria, and know that you are very likely to get a residence permit in Sweden, there is quite a strong incentive to stay away from authorities for 18 months to get your case heard here.”

    Deportations of persons staying in the country illegally create much work for Swedish police, such as contacting embassies and other authorities in the refugees’ home countries to obtain travel and identity documents.

    “We lack a lot of tools. Firstly, I think we have to impose stricter requirements that identity is established before hearing the case, and ensure that Sweden has agreements with the respective countries for them to take back their nationals,” Per-Uno Johansson, the Swedish Migration Agency’s acting section chief, told the newspaper.

    Some 80,000 people sought asylum in Sweden in 2014, the highest number in more than two decades.

    A total of over 1.6 million of the 9.75 million people living in the country were born abroad, according to the latest data from Sweden’s national statistics bureau.

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