When you talk to journalists from the U.S. or the UK, they often seem to think that Sweden is a humanitarian superpower that has received refugees because the Swedish government is following some ideology based on doing good deeds.
That Sweden is a humanitarian superpower, eager to lead by example, is a myth that needs exposing once and for all. The recent migration wave to Sweden has made some people poor and others very, very rich.
Every day one reads news in Sweden about the winners and the losers in the migration industry. One of the winners in Sweden's migration industry is ICA Bank. In November 2015, it invoiced the Swedish Migration Agency $8 million for providing asylum seekers prepaid cards. For every cash withdrawal, ICA Bank takes a $2 fee, and for every prepaid card activated, it takes $21. ICA Bank won the contract without any competition; its contract with the Migration Agency extends to March 2017.
Many asylum accommodations in Sweden are run by private operators and are making huge profits. In 2015, the 30 largest companies that run the asylum accommodations invoiced the Swedish Migration Agency an estimated $109 million. The losers, on the other hand, were the Swedish taxpayers who had to finance these decisions.
In November 2015, it was reported that Sweden's Migration Agency had paid $174 million during an 11-month period to private sector property owners for asylum seekers' accommodation.
Many of the companies running the asylum accommodations have a profit margin of over 50%. Defakon Renting AB has a profit margin of 68%. Nordic Humanitarian AB has a profit margin of 58%. Fastigheterna på Kullen AB has a profit margin of 50%.
The biggest private company running asylum accommodations, Jokarjo AB, is owned by Bert Karlsson, known in Sweden primarily as director of a record label. In the early 1990s, Mr. Karlsson was the leader and founder of a political party, New Democracy, that advocated reducing immigration to Sweden. Between 1991 to 1994, as a representative of his party, he sat in the Swedish parliament. In 2015, his company billed the Swedish Migration Agency $23.9 million. Mr. Karlsson explained his business plan for running a home for asylum seekers in a simple sentence: "My idea is to make it cheaper and better than anyone else."
One method he used to make his business more profitable is that asylum seekers have to buy their own toilet paper, apparently despite having agreed with the Migration Agency to provide asylum seekers with toilet paper, sanitary napkins and diapers. In December 2015, the Swedish media revealed that asylum seekers have to buy all these products themselves.
One can only imagine the situation for asylum accommodations run by minor private operators.
This is what the Swedish "humanitarian superpower" is actually about. It is all about money, and it is about winners and losers.
The companies running the asylum accommodations are becoming rich at the Swedish taxpayers' expense; at the same time, asylum accommodations are not managed properly.
Here are a few of the violent incidents that happen every day:
On January 25, 2016, the police arrived at an asylum accommodation in Annerstad, southern Sweden, after hearing of a brawl there between Syrians and Afghans. When the police arrived, according to their report, no one -- not even the people working there -- could speak Swedish.
In January 2016, there were reports that a ten-year old boy at an asylum accommodation in Västerås had been raped repeatedly. In February 2016, there were reports that a boy at an asylum accommodation in Maglarp, in southern Sweden, had been raped by two other boys at the same asylum accommodation.
If liberal journalists outside Sweden believe that rape is humanitarian, then Sweden has a humanitarian migration policy.
What is actually happening in Sweden, however, is that private companies are making millions of dollars at taxpayer expense, while the newly arrived migrants are living a horrible existence in which rape and other abuses are a part of daily life. This is what other European countries will experience if they follow Sweden's liberal migration policy.
Children who come to Sweden without parents ("unaccompanied refugee children") must, according to the Swedish law, be assigned a legal guardian. The guardian, instead of the parents, is responsible for the child's personal relationships and managing daily affairs. In December 2015, it was reported that there are guardians responsible for up to 29 unaccompanied refugee children, and who earn more than $7,000 a month. It is not, of course, possible for one guardian to take care of 29 unaccompanied refugee children. The migration industry in Sweden has created opportunities for people with no conscience to become wealthy. Meanwhile, thousands of unaccompanied refugee children are disappearing and no one knows where they are.
Another part of the migration industry that has grown of late are foster homes for unaccompanied refugee children. In February, reports surfaced that one of the heads of the Swedish Migration Agency also runs the private company, Starkfamn Familjehem AB: a business that provides foster homes to unaccompanied refugee children. It is not only people in the private sector are making money from the migration industry, but also people working inside the state apparatus who want to do well.
The biggest private company running asylum accommodations is owned by Bert Karlsson (left). In 2015, his company billed Swedish taxpayers $23.9 million. His homes require asylum seekers to buy their own toilet paper, apparently despite having agreed with the Migration Agency to provide asylum seekers with toilet paper, sanitary napkins and diapers. Wafa Issa (right) is head of the Migration Agency for the Stockholm region. She also runs a private company that is paid to provide foster homes to unaccompanied refugee children.
One of the losers is the Swedish police. They have reported that they can no longer cope with their jobs because they cannot handle the hundreds of young men in Sweden right now from Morocco and other countries in North Africa.
When you talk with journalists from Britain or the United States who think that Sweden's migration policy is a role model, you have to think of those journalists who once saw the Soviet Union as a model. Communism did not work; Sweden's migration policy does not work. That Sweden is a "humanitarian superpower" is truthfully nothing but marketing: the Green Party and some Social Democrats want to export Sweden's liberal migration policy to the rest of Europe.
Although a small clique in Sweden have become millionaires because of the migration industry, the schools, police, social services and taxpayers in Sweden have lost a lot and have a difficult and uncertain future. There will be major conflicts in Sweden. There is nothing "noble" in Sweden's migration policy. The Swedish migration model, far from being a good example of how a migration policy should function, is an embarrassment and a disaster, and its final result is chaos, conflict, and corruption.
Nima Gholam Ali Pour is a member of the board of education in the Swedish city of Malmö and is engaged in several Swedish think tanks concerned with the Middle East. He is also editor for the social conservative website Situation Malmö.