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Welfare bum immigrants are a threat to the Finnish way of life

June 1, 2009
Kai Pöntinen ( who is representing the conservative National Coalition Party in the upcoming EU elections thinks it is necessary to stop "welfare bum immigrants to preserve the Finnish way of life." He is sadly mistaken if he thinks an argument like that will get him a place in the EU parliament. (EU elections are set to take place on June 7.)
I hate seeing politicians who think like this because as an immigrant myself, he is painting all immigrants with the same brush. I am NOT a welfare bum immigrant. Party leader Jyrki Katainen is concerned that Pöntinen’s ad will fuel the spread of a racist mentality. Sorry Mr. Katainen, Finnish society is already at that stage… Finland is in fact rather racist, and this is often highlighted in the media. That, however, is another story.
I immigrated to Finland over 10 years ago and not once have I been unemployed since that time; not once have I "taken money from the state" in order to be supported. (Having a baby a couple of years ago doesn’t count in my opinion.) In fact, I have paid my own way since I have lived here. I pay taxes and I pay my bills, so how am I threat to the "Finnish way of life"? What the heck is the Finnish way of life anyways?
To appease facets of Finnish society who don’t want immigrants here, Finland needs to focus parts of its immigration strategy on educated foreigners who will probably integrate into the workforce more easily and adapt to "the Finnish way of life" faster. Make it easier for those folks to stay here – immigration red tape is still a problem! As an immigrant of those stripes, perhaps that is where the focus on future immigration policy should be…
My idea is backed up by former Keskisuomalianen editor, Erkki Laatikainen, who wrote a guest column for YLE’s English news service back in March:
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