Finland May Introduce Border Control In Case Of Large Immigrant Influx

According to a proposal presented to Parliament on June 22 regarding mass entry and the instrumentalization of migration, Finnish authorities may implement border procedures.

The goal of such a plan, according to a press release from the Finnish Interior Ministry, is to enhance and manage entrances, and the adjustments are anticipated to go into effect right away.

The border method would enable the prompt processing of possibly baseless asylum requests at or close to the border. Asylum seekers would be unable to move within Finland or from Finland to other EU nations as a result. If the asylum has arrived from a safe nation or if their case is clearly unjustified in another way, the border procedure may be implemented.The Finish Imigration service should come to a decision regarding the application received within four weeks. All means of technical solution, including setting up video calls or videoconferences, are recommended to streamline and accelerate the asylum admission process.

Krista Mikkonen, Minister of Interior, says: "Legislation enabling the border procedure is one of the Government's many ways to prepare for countering hybrid influence activities, in which a foreign state tries to exert pressure on Finland by means of instrumentalisation of migration. This spring, we have also increased the Border Guard's resources for border control.”

Applications shall be scrutinised

In the border procedure, each application would be thoroughly, equitably, and personally reviewed. If during the quick procedure it was not possible to ensure that vulnarable asylum seekers, such as victims of human trafficking, would receive the special help they need in the asylum process, the border procedure would not be implemented.

Unaccompanied children would also be exempted from the procedure if they are countries that are considered to be safe. 

Mikkonen adds: "The threshold for adopting the border procedure would be high and it would not give us the right to cut corners in the asylum process. In the border procedure, too, asylum applications would be examined in such a way that a genuine right to apply for asylum would still exist. The border procedure would not exclude the right of appeal or the right to interpretation and legal aid.”

Applicants should not stray far from the reception centre

The proposal states that anyone applying for the asylum status are obliged to stay within the property of the designated reception centre at or close to the border. However, as a rule, they would not be held and would be free to roam within the proximity of the reception centre.

For the applicant's legal security, the procedure must have a definite end date because at that point, they would no longer be required to stay in the designated reception centre.

Amendments should be implemented in case of emergencies

The proposal for the border procedure will be implemented in normal circumstances. In emergency situations, however, The Emergency Powers Act will be employed. The proposal for amendment of such Act is being discussed by the Parliament.

On June 9, an amendment proposal of the Border Guard Act was submitted to the Parliament by the Government. According to the proposal, it is suggested that the reception of asylum applications centralises at specifically designated border crossing sites along Finland’s border.

In order to prevent a serious threat to the country by an unusually large influx of immigrants in a brief period of time due to the proposal, the government may decide whether or not to enact the centralisation.

Khoa Pham

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