No matter how much the AFP reporter tries to disguise it as an employment and integration issue, Sweden has a big problem. Even though refugees entering the country receive full welfare benefits immediately on arrival, the Swedes blame themselves for the high levels of juvenile delinquency among the Muslim youths. The title of the AFP article is intentionally deceptive: Sweden struggles to integrate Muslim immigrants.
Sweden has welcomed immigrants with open arms for decades but now it is grappling with how to integrate them into society, especially in the southern town of Malmoe amid a massive influx of refugees.
Once a thriving industrial town with full employment, Malmoe has seen many of its plants shut down since the 1990s. That, combined with a never-ending stream of foreigners arriving, has led to rising juvenile delinquency and rampant unemployment.
Of the town’s 280,000 inhabitants, a third are foreigners and 60,000 are Muslims.
Evidently there were no problems in the 1950s and 60s when the refugees came seeking work rather than political asylum. Can you detect what else has changed? Yes! The source of immigration has shifted in a definite pattern.
While immigrants to Sweden in the late 1950s and 1960s came as much-needed laborers, the trend has in recent decades shifted toward political refugees, according to Yves Zenou, an economics professor at Stockholm University specialized in integration problems.
“Immigrants to Sweden have become political refugees. First there were people from South America, then Iran, Afghanistan and now Iraq,” he said.
“They come seeking asylum and not work,” he said.
He recalled the Scandinavian country’s generous humanitarian policies which provide immigrants with everything they need once they arrive.
“The famous welfare state takes care of everything on a social level. But that’s the limitation of the system — the country cannot provide any solution when it comes to jobs, which is the key to integration,” he said.
You just got to love this ‘everybody is the same’ generalization.
New arrivals tend to settle where they already have friends and family members, leading Swedes to desert some areas, such as Malmoe’s southeastern neighborhood of Rosengaard.
“When a lot of people from one ethnic group concentrate together, you always see the same phenomenon everywhere: they become marginalized, with high unemployment and crime rates,” Zenou said.
Crime waves in Hasidic villages? Look out!