Sweden’s prime minister, who has criticized President Trump on his stance about Muslim refugees, is now cracking down on immigration because of the gang violence that has gotten worse in Sweden, reports The Washington Times.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven spoke at a White House news conference with President Trump where he spoke of an agenda of implementing tougher laws on immigration and crime and of spending more money on law enforcement. Sounds very similar to policies he was making fun of not too long ago.
“We have our share of domestic challenges, no doubt about that,” Lofven said. “We are dealing with it every day, allocating more resources to the police, more resources to the security police, tougher laws on crime, tougher laws on terrorism.”
He not only talked about his change of heart, but he praised the method and said how well it has done on cracking down on gangs in Sweden.
“We can see some results now in our three major cities, decrease in shootings because we’re attacking the organized crime very tough,” the prime minister said. “And we’ll keep on doing that. There is no space in Sweden for organized crime. They decrease freedom for ordinary people.”
Lofven’s rhetoric echoes what Trump had been saying about the MS-13 gang member that he seeks to deport in larger numbers, and his policies to limit migration from certain Muslim-majority countries until better screening can take place to weed out potential terrorists.
Trump, who enjoys being proven correct in his assertions, told the audience in the East Room that he had been correct all along about Sweden.
“Certainly you have a problem with immigration, it’s caused problems in Sweden,” Trump told a Swedish journalist. “I was one of the first ones to say it. I took a little heat, but that was OK. I proved to be right. But you do have a problem. I know the problem will slowly disappear, hopefully rapidly disappear.”
A year ago, soon after Trump took office, he was criticized in the U.S. media and in Europe for blaming a rise in crime in Sweden on an influx of Muslim refugees.
“You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden,” the president said back then at a rally in Florida. “Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
At the time, Swedish officials said they didn’t know what Trump was talking about, some people accused Trump of responding to an erroneous news report that blew the situation out of proportion. Lofven then scolded Trump publicly saying, “We must all take responsibility for using facts correctly and for verifying anything we spread.”
But on Tuesday at the White House, the prime minister had changed his tune. He noted that Sweden had received 163,000 refugees in 2015, with most arriving in a span of a few months.
“We inherited a legislation that was not sustainable, legislation on migration,” Lofven said. “We changed the legislation, so now we have decreased the number of refugees, and we’re also putting pressure on the other European Union countries to take their share of the responsibility.”
The New York Times even reported last weekend that Sweden has experienced a rise in clan-like violence, including gangs using hand grenades, that accompanied an influx of immigrants from certain parts of Europe and the Middle East.
There have been more than 100 incidents involving military-grade explosives in the Stockholm metro area, which police have attributed to an “arms race” among immigrant gangs, the paper reported. The story said how up until 2014 there were few incidents in Sweden, but then the number of explosions and seizures of grenades rose quickly.
Lofven refuted the recent reports that the violence in Sweden had gotten so bad that authorities had designated “no-go zones.”
“We also have problems with organized crime in Sweden, shootings,” he said. “But it’s not like you have these ‘no-go’ zones.”
Until recently, Sweden had the most generous immigration laws in Europe. Former Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in 2014 made a famous speech urging Swedes to “open their hearts” to refugees seeking shelter.
But in 2016, as problems grew, Sweden enacted a law valid for three years that makes family reunification of refugees more difficult. The law stopped recent immigrants with residency permits from bringing their immediate family members to Sweden.
Looks like country’s who think an influx of immigrants is a good thing should take a look at what happened to Sweden before they keep admitting people and ruin their country.