Sweden Steps Up Deportation

Asylum Is Hard to Find

Swedish police escort migrants off of a train arriving from Denmark, November 2015. Reuters

Nearly two years ago, on November 24, 2015, Asa Romson, then Sweden’s deputy prime minister, struggled to hold back tears as she announced the reversal of her country’s open-door migration policy. Just weeks ago, Abbas, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee, struggled to hold back tears as he told me about his upcoming deportation to Kabul—a place that the Swedish Migration Agency, which oversees asylum cases, has deemed safe.

In a confounding turn of events, Abbas’ older brother, Ali (the only immediate family he has left), was granted asylum in Sweden six years ago. Yet Abbas, who arrived in 2015, will have to leave. He will be flown to Kabul on September 7. Abbas grew up in Ghazni, a city almost 100 miles south of Kabul, and has only spent a little time in the capital, when he lived with an uncle after the death of his mother six years ago. Now he says

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