The Social Democrat minority government proposed legislation in Sweden to limit the number of refugees since the asylum seekers have stretched the country thin.

They allowed in 160,000 people last year. From The New York Times:

The government said that under the new rules, individuals who want to bring over family members but do not apply to do so within three months of arriving in Sweden, would have to prove they can financially support them; current regulations require sponsors to demonstrate only that they can support themselves. Permanent residency for asylum-seekers under the age of 25 would be restricted to those who have completed high school and can support themselves.

People who are formally granted refugee status would be able to bring over family members from abroad, but the legislation would circumscribe the family members who are eligible.

The asylum seekers have overwhelmed the public system since only 494 found employment. That’s the tricky thing with socialism. You need people to fund it, but too many people can cause a collapse.

Of course human rights groups have condemned Sweden’s move because how dare they take measures to protect the actual citizens of their country. They tugged at the heart strings, but reality has escaped them. If Sweden keeps accepting the refugees, everything will fall apart and harm those vulnerable children.

But Morgan Johansson, the justice and migration minister, stressed that the country could collapse if Sweden brings in “200,000 of the one million asylum seekers and migrants expected to come to the EU this year.” He also hope it stops them from repeating autumn 2015 when the country received 1,500 every week. The country literally ran out of room for new people.

James Traub at Foreign Policy visited Sweden at the time:

That evening, Mikael Ribbenvik, a senior migration official, said to me, “Today we had to regretfully inform 40 people that we could [not] find space for them in Sweden.” They could stay, but only if they found space on their own.

His article in February highlighted how Sweden’s generosity has torn apart the country. Taub found out that Sweden needed “to spend about 7 percent of its $100 billion next year on refugees.” That means they have to double the 2015 budget:

Where will the additional funds come from? It’s not clear yet, but since the cost of caring for refugees is considered a form of development assistance, Sweden has already cut 30 percent of its very generous foreign aid budget, which largely goes to fortify the very countries from which people are now fleeing, to help make up the difference. Other European donors, including Norway, have done so as well.

It is very hard to find a middle ground between “we must” and “we can’t.” One of the few people I spoke to who was seeking one was Diana Janse of the Moderates. I asked her if she feared that Sweden was in the process of committing suicide. “It’s an open question,” Janse replied. She worried that the costs of Sweden’s generosity were only beginning to come due, and no one cared to tally them. She had just learned that since the right to 450 days of parental leave per child enshrined in Swedish laws also applies to women who arrive in the country with children under seven, refugees could qualify for several years’ worth of paid leave — even without working, since unemployed women also receive maternal benefits. She was convinced that Sweden needed to end the practice of giving Swedish social payments to refugees, not only because it was unaffordable, but because Sweden had no interest in out-bidding its neighbors to woo refugees.

But the new rules will only apply to those who arrived in Sweden after November 24, 2015. The law will go into effect on July 20 if the government approves it.

In January, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman warned that the country will start deporting refugees as the government rejects applications:

Anders Ygeman told newspaper Dagens Industri that since about 45 percent of asylum applications are currently rejected, the country must get ready to send back tens of thousands of the 163,000 who sought shelter in Sweden in 2015

“I think that it could be about 60,000 people, but it could also be up to 80,000,” Ygeman was quoted as saying.
Ygeman’s spokesman, Victor Harju, confirmed the announcement, adding that the minister was simply applying the current approval rate to the record number of asylum-seekers.

“That rate could of course change,” Harju added.

The numbers of refugees has gone down since Sweden now checks photo IDs for all travelers.