Sweden imposes border controls to stop migrant influx

Travelers passing from Denmark into Sweden will have to show photo identification starting Monday.

The move by Sweden is an attempt to stop the flow of undocumented migrants into the country known for its generous welfare system.  The new measure means Sweden is closing its open-door migrant policy after receiving 160,000 migrants last year.  Neighboring Denmark only took in 18,000.

Travelers have been warned to expect long lines on the Danish side of the Oresund Bridge, a major entry point for migrants seeking a new life in Sweden.

The re-introduction of the border controls between Sweden and Denmark means that travelers between the two Nordic countries will have to show their passports for the first time in more than 50 years.

The thousands of daily commuters between the countries will also be affected by the new measure.

Denmark is anxious about the new restrictions by its neighbor, hoping it will not end up with a backlog of migrants at its border.  Denmark’s right-wing government has openly discouraged refugees and at one point proposed seizing refugees’ jewelry to cover their expenses in Denmark.

Sweden is the latest European country to impose the border checks, all but erasing the idea of a borderless Europe where a traveler could pass from one country into another without showing a passport.

Europe is facing its largest refugee crisis since World War II.

More than one million migrants, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, sought asylum in Europe last year, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

Source: VOANews.com

(Photo: Marcus Bengtsson)