Right Hooks

Lessons From Norway's Refugee Policy

Norway offers a better and more measured response to immigration.

Thomas Gallatin · Sep. 27, 2016

With much of western Europe mired in a mostly self-inflicted migration crisis due to their liberal open-door policies, one country stands out for its decidedly non-politically correct policies on immigration. In 2015 Norway adopted an immigration policy it termed “strict but fair.” Since Norway is not a member of the European Union, it was not obligated to accept any refugees, however it elected to accept 8,000 migrants, but on its own conditions. Norway’s primary concern was to prevent uncontrolled migration. Similar to Donald Trump’s reasoning in his call to limit immigration, Norway’s government understood that its first obligation was to Norwegians, as any immigrants that were to be accepted would need to be carefully vetted along clear guidelines that would both prevent economic strain and preserve distinct Norwegian cultural and character.

Sweden, the country to the immediate east of Norway, took a much more liberal open-door approach, welcoming in well over 280,000 migrants since 2013. Sweden’s radical policy has proved to be untenable and increasingly unpopular with Swedes, which has given popular rise to the Sweden Democrats, a controversial immigration-restrictionist party that more than doubled its presence in the nation’s 2014 election, becoming the country’s third largest party. As public dissatisfaction continued to grow and the cost for migrant services swelled to 7% of the 2016 budget, the Swedish government finally enacted laws to impose border controls. With the lack of immigrant vetting and assimilation, the social impact upon Sweden is yet to be fully realized.

Norway’s Norwegian-first policy in regards to immigration is the fairest both to its own citizens, but also to those refugees who are genuinely seeking refuge and help assimilating into a new and better life.

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