What’s Happening in Sweden

As if on cue, riots broke out in a heavily immigrant suburb of Stockholm as soon as the media mocked President Donald Trump for a vague warning about immigration-related problems in Sweden.

At a campaign rally over the weekend, Trump issued forth with a mystifyingly ominous statement. “You look,” he declared, “at what’s happening last night in Sweden.” What? Had the president invented a nonexistent terror attack? As it turned out, the reference was to a segment on Sweden he had watched on the Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight the previous night rather than to any specific event in the Nordic country . . .

By welcoming a historic number of asylum-seekers proportionate to its population, Sweden has indeed embarked on a vast social experiment that wasn’t well thought out and isn’t going very well. The unrest in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby after police made an arrest the other night underscored the problems inherent in Sweden’s immigration surge . . .

Sweden welcomed more than 160,000 asylum-seekers in 2015, and nearly 40,000 in October of that year alone. For a country of fewer than 10 million, this was almost equal to 2 percent of the population — in one year. The flow doubled the number of asylum-seekers at the height of the Balkans crisis in 1992 . . .

There is a stark gap in the labor-force-participation rate between the native born (82 percent) and the foreign born, (57 percent). As the Migration Policy Institute points out, Sweden is an advanced economy with relatively few low-skills jobs to begin with. On top of this, high minimum wages and stringent labor protections make it harder for marginal workers to find employment, while social assistance discourages the unemployed from getting work. (Read more from “What’s Happening in Sweden” HERE)

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