The numbers come from the National Border Police Section in the National Operations Division, and show of 22,000 individuals due to be sent home after having their asylum applications turned down, some 14,000 have vanished off the police radar, reports Afton Bladet.
Some are expected to have left the country secretly, but the majority are thought to still be in Sweden, having fallen through the cracks of the comprehensive welfare state. “We simply do not know where they are”, said a police spokesman. Even in cases where the police manage to find illegals and send them home, nations such as Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco and Libya don’t accept their own people back in many cases.
A number of unscrupulous employers in the country have taken advantage of the invisible migrants, using them as cheap labour off the books, with no wages tax to pay or minimum wage to heed.
At the start of 2015 the migration bureau was responsible for deporting migrants who failed to gain a visa, but with the rising tide of migration creating new challenges for Sweden the job was transferred to the Police in October.
The task of deportations was handed over to police because the migration board considered that as the situation deteriorated, “coercion would be necessary” to get migrants to leave. Yet through a severe lack of manpower, resources, and political mandate to take proper action the police have proven unequal to the job.
A police spokesman said they simply did not have enough officers, having been ordered this month to become border police as well, enacting government policy to check passports and papers.
Again hamstrung by government policy, the border checks have also been a failure, making no significant reduction in the number of migrants crossing into the country daily. Officers were only permitted to make spot checks at the border, and were forbidden to profile individuals on the basis of their ethnicity, language spoken, or skin colour, making effective control impossible.