FINLAND – The number of immigrants to Finland who have returned to their home countries has significantly increased with the aid of the Assisted Voluntary Return programme of the International Organization for Migration.
YLE – The programme has been especially popular with asylum seekers. (So, does that mean if we send all those people a few bucks, they won’t come in the first place?)
During the 14 months that Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) has been implemented in Finland, over 300 people have returned to their home countries. Over 450 applied for inclusion in the programme. Before the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) launched the project, the number of returners was much lower. Only about 45 immigrants returned voluntarily to countries outside the EU each year between 2005 and 2009.
IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return helps the immigrants in all their travel arrangements and supports their readjustment to their homelands, also offering financial support.
SPIEGEL – French President Nicolas Sarkozy made immigration a central issue of his campaign. Now, his new minister for immigration and national identity says its time to start paying immigrants to leave the country.
France is home to over 5 million immigrants — and the new conservative-led government doesn’t plan on making things any more comfortable for them. While the new regime in Paris is determined to curb illegal immigration, it is also looking to encourage legal migrants to reconsider their decision to stay in France — by paying them to go back home.
The government is offering incentives to more immigrants to return home voluntarily. “We must increase this measure to help voluntary return.Under the scheme, Paris will provide each family with a nest egg of €6,000 ($8,000) for when they go back to their country of origin.
There are no plans for a mass legalization of the estimated 200,000 to 400,000 illegals in France. The new minister voiced concern that the majority of legal immigration into France was that of existing immigrants bringing in relatives, while only a small proportion were granted visas due to their professional skills. France is home to an estimated 1.5 million immigrants from mostly Muslim North Africa and 500,000 from sub-Saharan Africa, according to the 2004 census.
SPAIN’S already astonishing unemployment rate of over 20% skyrockets to 30% among documented migrants. It’s cheaper to pay them to leave than to pay them welfare.
TIME –– It’s been over two years since Spain enacted its Voluntary Return Plan for immigrants, which grants legal residents who lose their jobs the right to receive their entire unemployment benefit in two lump sums – one upon departure, and the second after arriving in their country of origin. By now, some 17,000 documented migrants from the U.S., Eastern Europe, and Africa have signed on to the plan, part of a successful effort, says the government, to reduce the pressure on the Spanish economy and spark development in other parts of the world.
Yet because that number falls far short of the government’s own predictions of 87,000 when the program launched in 2008, some immigrant organizations have labeled it a failure. But the number of immigrants inquiring about and signing on for the plan has continued to grow as proof that it is having the intended effect. And it’s true that, for the first time in a decade, the number of non-E.U. immigrants in Spain began dropping in the last quarter of 2010.
UK DAILY MAIL – Denmark is boosting cash incentives to entice immigrants to return to their homelands. Critics of the measure say it sends the wrong message to foreigners but the centre-right government in Copenhagen is forging ahead with the plan. The financial carrot is ten times more than that previously offered under a scheme which as been law since 1997.
In addition, 20 million kroner will be set aside for city councils in charge of integrating immigrants to ‘motivate’ foreigners to return to their homelands. Opposition parties are shocked by the news, and fear it sends the message ‘that foreigners are not welcome in Denmark’. Immigrants account for about 7.3 per cent of Denmark’s population of 5.5 million.
GERMANY is becoming increasingly uneasy about the social changes that are transforming Germany, largely due to the presence of millions of non-integrated Muslims.
“In every European country, due to their low participation in the labor market and high claim on state welfare benefits, Muslim migrants cost the state more than they generate in added economic value. In terms of culture and civilization, their notions of society and values are a step backwards.” “No other religion in Europe is so demanding and no other migration group depends so much on the social welfare state and is so much connected to criminality.”
“Most of the cultural and economic problems [in Germany] are concentrated in a group of the five to six million immigrants from Muslim countries.” “I do not want my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to live in a mostly Muslim country where Turkish and Arabic are widely spoken, women wear headscarves and the day’s rhythm is determined by the call of the muezzin.” “If the birthrate of migrants remains higher than that of the indigenous population, within a few generations, the migrants will take over the state and society.”
Conservative Papers –-Dozens of Muslim immigrants from North Africa rioted in a multi-ethnic district of Milan, smashing shop windows and overturning cars to protest at the knifing death of an Egyptian, Italian police said on Sunday. It was the second episode of violence involving Muslim immigrants this year, after clashes in southern Italy in January brought about the worst racial violence in the country since World War Two and reignited a long-running debate on immigration.
The Northern League, an anti-immigrant party in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right coalition, called for the immigrants responsible for the violence to be expelled from Italy immediately. Italy’s government last year approved tough legislation making it a felony to be an illegal immigrant or to help one. Immigrants without regular papers risk expulsion to their country of origin.
In early January, riots broke out in the Calabrian town of Rosarno when immigrants burned cars and broke store windows to protest against an attack on African farm workers by a gang of local white youths.