According to Finland’s Interior Ministry, roughly 15,000 migrants will have their asylum applications rejected. However officials said that not all of the applicants who’ve been rejected will leave Finland. Some of them will remain in the country as undocumented migrants.
A working group comprising representatives from the ministries of Social Affairs and Health, the Interior and Education and Culture are currently considering how Finland will handle rejected asylum seekers who choose to remain here. The Interior Ministry has previously stressed that it would like rejected asylum seekers to return to their home countries.
Specifically, officials are debating whether or not to offer them income support or even whether or not their children should be allowed to attend school. The working group has until the end of November to come up with recommendations to address the situation.
Interior Minister Paula Risikko already has a view on whether or not undocumented migrants should receive financial support.
"Personally I am of the view that Finland should not pay the same income support that it pays otherwise. Because we cannot extend the individual’s stay here," Risikko told Yle.
Risk of falling into a cycle of crime
According to the minister she also believes that migrants who remain in Finland without proper documentation could fall victim to crime or take up criminal activity.
"When people are here without documentation and are here illegally, then they are always in danger of becoming victims of human trafficking and falling into many cycles of crime. This is a very serious situation for the individual and in my view we should not support it," she commented.
Finland has no common policy regarding providing financial support for undocumented migrants: currently some municipalities pay income support to them, while others do not. Risikko said it is important to introduce a common set of practices.
"The constitution also ensures protection for them [undocumented migrants]. According to the law we should provide a minimum level of income, but municipalities have different practices. For that reason we also need to harmonise procedures in all municipalities," she declared.