forced deportation of illegal immigrants in 2011 cost Norwegian taxpayers more
than NOK 104 million, according to statistics from the Immigration Directorate
(UDI) and the police.
In total, 6,556 people that did not have residence permits
were sent home. Of the returnees, 645 were children, and 103 of them
traveled without parents. Ingrid Wirum, Head of the Police’s immigration unit,
assures that in cases of minors being sent home, authorities always contact the
country they are being sent to ensure that they will be cared for.
4, 744 of the returnees
were forced deportations, and 1, 000 of the people sent home had been
sentenced. That is the highest number of convicts that have been sent out of
Norway in one year.
felons is a priority for us," Wirum tells NRK. The forced deportations
cost Norwegian taxpayers more than NOK 104 million in 2011. According to
police, the average price per deportation is NOK 22,000.
The statistics also show
that majority of the deported immigrants come from Nigeria, Russia and Iraq,
and the highest number of convicts comes from Lithuania, Nigeria and Poland.
Although the number of
deported convicts has increased, so has the number of volunteer returns. A
total of 1,812 people who were denied permanent residency left voluntarily in
2011 – also the highest number in history - and an increase of 25 percent
compared to 2010.
For UDI, it has been an
important task to get more people to choose voluntary returns over staying in
Norway illegally and then be subject to forced deportations, according to UDI
Director Ida Børresen. They have offered cooking classes, as well as courses in
IT, serving and other areas that target the job opportunities that exist back
Asylum seekers whose
application for permanent residency has been denied may also apply for a
one-time financial support of NOK 35,000 if they choose to go home voluntarily.