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Don't trust UDI

The government can now go to court to deprive a person of Norwegian citizenship.


When the new citizenship law comes into force on September 1, Minister Bjarne Håkon Hanssen and the Ministry of Labor and Social Inclusion (AID) will have the opportunity to stick their wheels to people who have already obtained Norwegian citizenship.

Because this summer, at the last minute, the Odelsting gave blanket authorization to a change in the law, originally adopted by the Storting in June last year.

The new legislative text does not only open up for Hanssen and his crew in AID to give instructions to the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) in the national field. In addition, the Ministry may review the UDI's decision to grant a person Norwegian citizenship, by trying the case at the Immigration Board. If the Board upholds the positive decision, the Ministry can finally appeal the case to the courts.

It seems Fakhra Salimi, head of the Resource Center for Immigrant and Refugee Women (MiRA), is worrying.

- This is a tightening and creates a lot of insecurity. When the UDI, which is part of the state, makes a thorough assessment and believes that an applicant meets all the criteria for citizenship, the state should accept the decision, says Salimi.

- The Mira Center's fears are unfounded. The ministry will only review positive decisions if we believe they are invalid, for example due to corruption or bribery, says State Secretary Libe Rieber-Mohn in AID.

Salimi fears, however, that the new law will lead to two categories of citizenship: one indisputable for ethnic Norwegians and another rank for persons of foreign origin.

- If citizenship is conditional on the goodwill of politicians, it also becomes dependent. . .

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