Sweden Becomes the New Poster Country for the U.S. Immigration Debate
Posted on Feb 21, 2017
It has been three days since President Trump baffled reporters by referring to an unnamed terrorist incident in Sweden. The media and the Swedish government were quick to debunk the idea that any attack had occurred.
But Trump’s remarks, just on the verge of disappearing from public discourse, are gaining attention again. Early Tuesday, news spread of riots that had broken out overnight in a Swedish suburb inhabited by a large immigrant population. The New York Times explained:
This isn’t the first time Rinkeby has experienced riots—the suburb was home to similar outbursts in 2010 and 2013. It’s not yet clear why the most recent arrest spurred riots.
While the Rinkeby riots are drawing media attention, one aspect of this sudden focus on Sweden’s immigration policy is being lost in the shuffle—that President Trump’s initial remarks about the country, given at a rally last Saturday, were found to be false.
And despite the fact that no terrorist incident had occurred in Sweden last Friday night, as Trump purported, mainstream media outlets continued to give the remarks attention.
On Monday, Fox News published an article examining the “migrant crime wave” that has recently hit Sweden. The source of the article was a single Facebook post by Peter Springare, a Swedish police investigator, who was later investigated for inciting a hate crime because of the post.
The Fox News article, written by Cody Derespina, stated:
Derespina also attempted to plant the seed of a correlation between a recent bout of violence in the Swedish city of Malmo and Malmo’s immigrant population. “About 32 percent of Malmo’s occupants are migrants, although it is not clear what role migrants play in the crime wave,” the article stated.
Derespina’s rhetoric has become amplified in the wake of Rinkeby’s overnight violence. These riots, however, most likely are a stand-alone incident if considered statistically.
The Chicago Tribune provided even more evidence:
Fox News isn’t the only mainstream media outlet continuing to analyze Trump’s false statement. CNN has been devoting daily airtime to the topic—the network’s Don Lemon conducted an interview with the source of Trump’s Sweden remarks; CNN articles have examined Trump’s explanation; and even CNN Money has reported on the subject.
Last night’s riots in Sweden, and the flurry of analysis that followed from both sides of the political spectrum, are par for the course in the current debate over American immigration policy. Considering that Trump just released a new set controversial immigration policies, exhaustive analysis of other countries’ migrant crises—or lack thereof—is unlikely to die down anytime soon.
—Posted by Emma Niles.
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