Bill to be ready in autumn - police still plan to implement grandmothers’ deportation
Thors: Goal of pre-summer to change Aliens’ Act “too optimistic”
The Ministry of the Interior initiated moves on Wednesday aimed at amending the Aliens’ Act in such a way as to allow two elderly foreign women with grandchildren living in Finland to stay in this country.
In spite of this, police still plan to implement the expulsion of Irina Antonova, a Russian citizen and Eveline Fadayel, an Egyptian.
In March, the government agreed that it would implement changes to the legislation following an uproar over the impending deportation of the grandmothers.
The aim is to give officials more discretion in granting residence permits to relatives of immigrants, so that humanitarian considerations might be better taken into consideration.
Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre) said in March that the change might be implemented already before the summer, after which police said that they would place a moratorium on the expulsion of Fadayel and Antonova.
Now Minister of Migration and European Affairs Astrid Thors (Swedish People’s Party) says that the government hopes to get the proposed changes before Parliament in the autumn.
National Police Commissioner Mikko Paatero says that the police cannot wait that long for the implementation of the expulsion. He says that to do so would violate the principle of equal treatment under the law.
The police informed Fadayel on Monday that she would have to leave the country by June 13th. Antonova is also expected to be given similar orders. Both women are living with their adult children in Finland.
Paatero feels that it is important for the police to have a uniform practice in all cases.
Thors feels that the original goal to implement the changes before the summer was too optimistic.
She says that one possibility that was considered earlier in the spring was to implement the changes without amending any legislation.
“However, that was not possible in this situation.”
Vanhanen was also asked at a meeting lunch for political journalists on Wednesday why the government has not come up with an amendment to the Aliens’ Act before the summer.
“Difficulties have emerged in the preparations. I do not know the details”, Vanhanen said with a hint of agitation.
Apparently Vanhanen did not know that later in the afternoon the Ministry of the Interior would announce that the legislative process was starting.
Vanhanen did not directly answer the question of whether or not he felt that it was irresponsible to promise to fix a situation and then not do it. He said that the law needs a stipulation that allows for greater consideration of humanitarian aspects, and which is fair and equitable in every way.
“It is not as easy as it seemed two months ago, when it was discussed without papers”, Vanhanen admitted.
According to Thors, the amendment will apply only to parents who are very dependent on their children, and that they must not impose an unreasonable burden on social and health care services.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Amendment to Aliens Act would open doors to hundreds of grandparents (8.4.2010)
Two grandmothers awaiting deportation to be given a second opportunity (25.3.2010)
Promised legislation to protect grandparents of immigrants fizzles (26.5.2010)
Police order Eveline Fadayel to buy a one-way ticket to Egypt (25.5.2010)