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WATCH: Swedish MEP slams Micheál Martin on immigration at EU Plenary session

A Swedish MEP has sharply criticised the Irish government for its policy of granting “mass amnesty for illegal migrants”, claiming that such measures would add to Europe’s problems with illegal immigration. 

Charlie Weimers, a Sweden Democrats representative in the European Parliament and a member of the European Conservative and Reformists Group, asked Mr Martin if he thought granting such amnesties would “alleviate or worsen migration pressures on Europe?”

He said that an amnesty introduced in Sweden in 2005 was meant to give the country pause but “instead the opposite happened – pull factors increased” – a reference to an increase in immigration in Sweden.

Mr Weimers claimed that this led to a a “migration wave that we have never seen before.”

“This year, one shooting a day, one bombing a week, and areas ruled by criminal gangs and clans caused BILD Zeitung to name my country the most dangerous country in Europe,” he continued.

“Taoiseach, have you looked at migration prognosis for the future?” he asked, asserting that some estimates held that 500 million immigrants saw Europe as a preferred destination, which he said was “more than the whole EU population.”

500 million wish to migrate to the EU. Migration pressure is mounting & the last thing we need is increased pull factors. The Irish amnesty exacerbates migration related problems. Look at Sweden. Leaders like Micheál Martin need to to realize Europe faces a mass exodus,” the MEP said.

Last year, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee introduced plans for an amnesty for illegal immigrants living in Ireland – but the Department of Justice confirmed to Gript Media that there were no proposals to limit or cap the number of illegal immigrants who can be granted amnesty through the scheme.

Although the amnesty has been reported as offering a “once in a generation” opportunity for 17,000 undocumented migrants in the country, as Gript also reported, the Government has no official estimates or data on the actual number of undocumented migrants in the country and the figures used in the goivernment’s discussion of the scheme are simply unofficial estimates provided to the Minister of Justice by the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), a pro-amnesty NGO.

The Irish government also announced a new raft of measures for asylum seekers, guaranteeing own door accommodation and other benefits. Numbers have surged since news of the amnesty and new asylum policies.

Weimers told the EU Parliament’s Plenary Session, where an Taoiseach had just given an address, that Ireland had introduced an “amnesty, for how many, no-one seems to know.”

Last month, Sweden’s leftwing prime minister conceded that a failure to integrate migrant communities has led to “parallel societies.” The comments were made following days of major riots over Easter weekend which left around 100 police officers injured.

The riots were sparked after a Swedish politician burned a copy of the Qu’ran – Islam’s most revered religious text – in what he called a “tribute to free speech.” The result was days of nationwide riots, resulting in widespread destruction of property and cars, and at least a dozen members of the general public being injured.

In the wake of the violence, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson spoke about Sweden’s failure to integrate immigrant groups. “Segregation has gone so far that we have parallel societies in Sweden,” she said. “We live in the same country, but different realities.”

She continued: “Integration was poor, and alongside, we have experienced intense immigration. Our society was too weak, while money for the police and social services too little.”

In response to Mr Weimers’ criticism, an Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that there was “no amnesty” in Ireland but that if people were “undocumented” while living in Ireland they need to have their lives regularized.

He also said that most companies seeking to establish bases were in search of “talent or ability and so on”.

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