After delivering his laugh line that Bernie Sanders would make “a good candidate for president — of Sweden," Senator Marco Rubio declared during the last Republican presidential debate on January 28th that "We don't want to be Sweden, we want to be the United States of America."
More than simply saying that we do not want to be Sweden, we need to learn from Sweden’s tragic mistake of becoming an open border sanctuary country for refugees from some of the most dangerous areas of the world. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, “between 2010 and 2014 Sweden received, on average, the highest number of asylum-seekers compared to its national population.”
Swedes enthusiastically embraced their open door policy as an article of faith. According to an autumn 2014 Eurobarometer survey, “No fewer than 72 percent of Swedes said they were either fairly positive or very positive towards immigration from countries outside the European Union.”
In 2015, this open border trend continued. Sweden welcomed more than 160,000 asylum seekers, which exceeded any other European Union state per capita. This total included 51,338 asylum seekers from Syria, 41,564 from Afghanistan, 20,857 from Iraq and 5,465 from Somalia.
Sweden has paid a very heavy price for its generosity and devotion to leftist ideals. Sweden’s social fabric and sense of security are unraveling as a result of a refugee population that has gotten out of control. In the last few months, Sweden has begun to wake up – but it appears to be too late.
Case in point is the Swedish town of Mölndal. With open arms, the town accepted more unaccompanied refugee minors than anywhere else in Sweden, mainly teenagers whom had arrived in Sweden without their families. Last autumn, the town was welcoming 400 refugee minors every week. The total for all of 2015 exceeded 4000.
However, what may have begun as a well-intentioned humanitarian gesture to provide places to live and support to refugee minors, has caused the town to descend into utter lawlessness. The longtime residents of the town, a suburb of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, do not feel safe anymore for good reason. And the lawlessness has spilled over to Gothenburg itself.
One Gothenburg police officer with more than three decades of experience told MailOnline that there were “violent gangs roaming around the streets and the use of knives and other weapons have become normal, rather than a rarity as it used to be.” Robberies, violent assaults and sexual harassment of girls are becoming more commonplace. The officer identified the gang members as mainly young men from North Africa. “They will do anything to get money – steal a person’s wallet, iPhone, jewellery (sic),” he added. “And then they will attack their victim and kick them half to death.”
Now, after a fatal stabbing, Mölndal, the most welcoming place for teenage refugees in Sweden, is beginning to seriously grapple with the tragic consequences of its open door policy. On January 25th, Mölndal became the scene of a brutal murder committed by one of the teenage refugees, a 15-year-old migrant boy from Somalia. He stabbed to death a 22-year-old social worker, Alexandra Mezher, who was working at the care home for unaccompanied refugee minors where her attacker lived. She was trying to restore peace after a knife fight had broken out between her murderer and another immigrant at the residence. The Somali murderer is in police custody and will be tried as an adult, Swedish authorities have announced.
What adds even more poignancy to this tragedy is that Alexandra Mezher was herself of Lebanese-Christian origin. Her parents had migrated to Sweden from Lebanon more than two decades ago, leaving a civil war there behind. But unlike what we are seeing with today’s refugees from war-torn regions of the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan, Alexandra’s parents made something of themselves in their adopted home. And their daughter wanted to give something back to Swedish society by becoming a social worker and helping the newly arrived teenage refugees from North Africa and other faraway places to adjust to their new home. In return, one of those refugees in her care stabbed Alexandra Mezher to death.
Alexandra’s mother blamed the Swedish politicians whom had allowed the immigrant situation to get so out of hand:
“We left Lebanon to escape the civil war, the violence and the danger. We came to Sweden where it was safe, to start a family. But it is not safe anymore… She was not just my daughter, she was my angel.”
It is little consolation to Ms. Mezher’s family that Sweden is finally deciding to deport as many as 80,000 immigrants, nearly half of those whom had entered Sweden seeking asylum last year. Whether this will be successful, considering that some immigrants are likely in hiding and others are not apt to leave quietly, remains to be seen. However, something meaningful must be done to reverse the tsunami of third world migrants that Sweden’s government allowed to engulf their country. Otherwise, a political backlash and increasing violence from anti-immigration protesters will heighten Sweden’s already precarious state.
One thing is for sure. We do not want to be Sweden, despite President Obama’s lavish praise for that country when he visited Sweden in 2013. In fact, he said he would blend right in politically. He has proven his affinity for Swedish policies in wanting to open the door to admit more refugees from Syria and other troubled countries in the Middle East region without a foolproof vetting system in place.
We have already admitted Muslim immigrants who want to see Sharia law practiced in the United States and freedom of speech suppressed. Somalis, whom the State Department arranged to be resettled in Minnesota, admitted openly in an interview that they were fine with killing anyone who insulted their prophet Muhammad. Dozens have gone abroad to fight with jihadist groups such as ISIS and Al Shabaab. Yet President Obama wants to open our borders wider to admit even more potential jihadists.
Moreover, similar to the crime problem that Mölndal has been experiencing from refugee gangs, a sheriff of one county in Minnesota testified to a congressional committee about the “specific emergence of Somali gang-related issues we are having in my county…We are clearly faced with a challenge that requires an innovative approach including new investigative tools and focused resources.”
We certainly don’t want to see American towns and cities follow down the same destructive path that Mölndal, Sweden embarked upon. But unless President Obama’s disastrous immigration policies are stopped in their tracks, we could well be facing a similar fate.