On more proposed changes to Norwegian asylum and immigration policy [2]

[following the updated proposals, this post is a continuation of the original]

Prop. 90 L (2015-2016): Endringer i utlendingsloven mv. (instramninger II) / final info

Prop. 91 L (2015-2016): Endringar i utlendingslova (pågriping og fengsling i samband med 48-timarprosedyren) / final info

Press conference om endanger i utlendingsloven [05.04.2016]

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On Norway’s 2016 quota for refugees

The formal documentation of the 2016 quota for resettlement refugees (overføringsflyktninger) in Norway:

On creative solutions [2]

UDI’s Director, Frode Forfang, recently wrote a blog post about rethinking the international refugee regime (det internasjonale flyktningregimet) by – if I understand him correctly – doing away with asylum in favor of a European-based quota system —

La oss tenke oss et helt annet system. Et system der Europa hvert år tok imot opptil flere hundre tusen flyktninger på kvote og fordelte dem mellom landene. Antallet kunne variere fra år til år og tilpasses den aktuelle flyktningsituasjonen. I et Europa med rundt 500 millioner innbyggere, ville det vært en relativt overkommelig oppgave. En forutsetning for å skape folkelig og politisk vilje til noe slikt, er imidlertid at det eksisterende systemet der retten til å søke asyl er grunnlaget for det internasjonale flyktningregimet, opphører i sin nåværende form.

He ends by noting,

Å endre det internasjonale flyktningregimet er selvsagt ingen enkel sak. Retten til å søke asyl er en del av folkeretten. Også EU-retten regulerer dette. En endring må ha et humanitært grunnlag, og må blant annet kunne sikre flyktninger en akutt nødhavn. Men en ny ordning må også ta utgangspunkt i en erkjennelse av at dagens system verken ivaretar grunnleggende humanitære prinsipper eller statenes rett til å styre innvandringen. I mellomtiden står asylretten sterkt som det eneste alternativet vi har.

It unleashed a whole host of responses —

related: 07.01.2016: UDI-direktøren oppsummerte asylåret 2015 (UDI)

On more proposed changes to Norwegian asylum and immigration policy

[05.04.2016 update: tracing the debate of the updated proposal can be found here.]

New innvandrings- og integreringsminister Sylvi Listhaug (Frp) put out a 150 page (! document available here) document outlining proposed changes to the Norwegian asylum and immigration policy today, including 40 major + minor changes to laws and regulations. Debate will is scheduled to conclude by 9 February, with proposals presented to Stortinget soon after.

The proposals include (via NRK) —

  • Tightens rules governing family reunification so that a person must have four years of work or education in Norway before family reunification can take place.
  • The government will issue payment cards to refugees instead of giving them cash. The aim is to prevent refugees sending money to family back home.
  • Asylum seekers arriving by transit visas across the border from Russia will not be able to get asylum.
  • Restricts visa freedom for asylum seekers. This means that asylum seekers are not entitled merits of his application for asylum in Norway, can be expelled from the border.
  • Creating a regulatory authority that gives right to grant temporary residence permits without taking a final decision on the need for protection. The temporary residence permit does not give the right to permanent residence, and does not provide a basis for family immigration.
  • It is proposed that the basis for permanent residence will lapse if the need for protection lapses within a period of five years.
  • The Government will reintroduce the distinction between people who are entitled to stay for the UN Refugee Convention, and those who are entitled to protection against return to their homeland after the human rights returning ban.
  • Unaccompanied minors seeking asylum to be given protection until the age of 18 years. It should then be re annual assessment, which determines whether an alien fulfills conditions for protection or stay in Norway on other grounds.
  • That an applicant shall be entitled to a permanent residence permit in Norway, the foreign national must sit the final examinations in Social Studies in a language he or she understands, as well as a final exam in Norwegian, indicating they master a minimum of spoken Norwegian.
  • Ministry wants to change Introduction Act so that people between 55 and 67 years of age must undergo training in Norwegian and social studies.
  • Permanent residence shall be refused if the applicant can not determine their own identity, or failure to obtain travel documents when it has prevented the return, or that the need for protection due to the applicants’ own actions after the applicant left the country of origin, and that the main purpose of these actions has been to obtain a residence permit.
  • The Government proposes that the appeal deadline is reduced from three weeks to one week in cases where the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) considers it obvious that an applicant does not meet the conditions for protection or protection against return.
  • The Government also proposes to make certain changes to the rules on legal aid in immigration cases, and proposes to remove the right to free legal advice in rejection cases under the Immigration Act.
  • It is proposed that the police should get store fingerprints of asylum seekers for 10 years.

Tracking public discussion:

On Canadian resettlement

Via UNHCR

The UN Refugee Agency has welcomed news of the arrival in Canada last night of the first group of Syrian refugees under a recently announced humanitarian programme.

The programme will provide a new life in Canada for 25,000 Syrian refugees, the first 163 of whom arrived in Toronto from Lebanon by Royal Canadian Air Force jet on Thursday (December 10).

Canada has acted swiftly to implement this initiative, which was announced in late November. UNHCR is continuing to work with the Canadian authorities in identifying vulnerable Syrians for settlement in Canada. The refugees’ welcome to Canada will be underpinned by its well-recognised community integration programmes.

see also: How Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper is welcoming new Syrian refugees; Welcome to Canada, where the Prime Minister meets refugees at the airport; Canadian Prime Minister just gave US politicians a refreshing lesson in compassion; This moving video shows how Canada welcomes Syrian refugees; The right way to settle refugees; Canada to accept an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees

On Norwegian budget debates

[this post will be continually updated as debates about the final national budget continue — changes in immigration law included]

On the EU internal quota relocations

25.01.16: updated statistics: 257 relocated from Italy, 157 from Greece

23.01.16: Building on the Lessons Learned to Make the Relocation Schemes Work More Effectively – UNCHR

05.01.16: Member States’ Support to Emergency Relocation Mechanism [hint: things aren’t looking so good]

01.12.15: EU to relocate asylum seekers currently in Sweden

09.11.15: 5 reasons relocating refugees is a nightmare

The fear is that if too many other countries want to send refugees away and too few want to take them in, a domino effect could collapse the whole process, which is already proving a nightmare to implement.

04.11.15: 116 relocated of 160,000. [EU Commission press release with updates.]

04.11.15: 30 refugees in Greece will be sent to Luxembourg.

Lisa de Bode at Al Jazeera America notes that the first 20 individuals are being relocated to Sweden from a camp in Italy under the EU refugee quota system.

Lithuania offered to resettle 1,105 refugees in the next two years but doesn’t appear to have any takers yet.

[updates as I hear of more relocations.]