Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Record number of deported aliens

The 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.
"Deporting convicted 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 home.
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.
(NRK/Aftenposten/Norway Post)
Julie Ryland

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