Listhaug wants to tighten citizenship requirements for IS members’ children – VG

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TIGHTENING IN: FRP’s Jon Helgheim and Sylvi Listhaug want to make it almost impossible for many immigrants to obtain Norwegian citizenship. Photo: Eirik Røsvik

Sylvi Listhaug wants to make it more difficult to obtain Norwegian citizenship for children of IS members. The requirement may affect more children with a Norwegian parent.

FRP deputy leader Sylvi Listhaug has chaired FRP’s immigration committee, which will present its work on Sunday, the day after FRP’s national meeting.

Listhaug will make it much more difficult to obtain Norwegian citizenship than today.

– It is not a requirement that you must adapt to Norwegian society to become a Norwegian citizen. It must be tightened sharply, says Listhaug to VG.

The committee launches a number of new requirements for citizenship which they will make into a new FRP policy: ten years of residence, oath of allegiance and very strict language requirements.

– What is the problem if people get citizenship who should not have had it?

– The IS fighters are one example of how wrong it can go when people who oppose what we stand for get a Norwegian citizenship. Then they can use those rights and the benefits for their criminal work, says FRP’s immigration policy spokesman Jon Helgheim.

STRICTER: Sylvi Listhaug will further tighten the requirements for obtaining Norwegian citizenship. Photo: Helge Mikalsen

Stricter for IS members’ children

In January, the FRP left Erna Solberg’s government because they brought home a Norwegian woman and her two children from the Al-Hol detention camp in northern Syria.

Listhaug and Helgheim now demand the following:

  • Children born abroad to a Norwegian mother or father must have a permanent connection and contact with the biological parent who holds Norwegian citizenship.

– If we get through, we will avoid the Norwegian authorities having to spend a lot of time and resources on dangerous operations to bring back people who are connected to terrorist networks around, says Helgheim.

– But it will not affect those who, for example, are with their mother in a refugee camp now?

– No, they do not want that, says Helgheim.

– We believe that our main task is to protect Norway, take care of Norway and make sure that we do not distribute citizenship in the east and west. We believe that it has been too lax until now. Therefore, it is now necessary to tighten sharply, both related to that group and in general, says Listhaug.

More children in Syria

VG is aware that there are four children of Norwegian IS women in Syria, who were born in the Islamic State, but who may be entitled to Norwegian citizenship. These children are currently with their mothers, so the proposal to Frp will not apply to them.

Background: These are the remaining IS women and their children

TERROR WORLD: IS, or the so-called Islamic State, had the greatest control over large tracts of land in both Syria and Iraq. Photo: Uncredited / TT NEWS AGENCY

But VG is also aware that IS fighters with Norwegian citizenship, including a Norwegian-Moroccan in his 40s who has had a leading role among jihadist fighters in Syria, are believed to have had more children with women in Syria.

In theory, these children can also become Norwegian citizens, if kinship can be proven by DNA testing.

It is highly uncertain where they are. This may also apply to children of other IS fighters with Norwegian citizenship who have had children with non-Norwegian women in Syria, and where these children do not have contact with their fathers.

Great special: The legacy of IS

PICKED UP: Five orphaned children were brought home to Norway last summer with this SAS aircraft. Photo: TORE KRISTIANSEN

– Humanitarian efforts

Last summer, Norwegian authorities brought home five orphans from the Al-Hol detention camp in northern Syria.

The mother of the five children is ethnic Norwegian, then 30 years old and missing. Father is an African man who has lived in Norway, and who is presumed dead.

– What would happen to these children, if their proposal was introduced?

– What the Norwegian authorities did at the time was an extraordinary humanitarian effort, not something we were committed to. We do not want to create an obstacle to making a humanitarian effort in a very special situation, as this was. What we want to prevent is that adults with terrorist connections use children to come to Norway, says Helgheim and adds:

– This applies to mothers or fathers who have children with a Norwegian person, where the Norwegian no longer has any connection to mother or child, but who can still use the person in question to get to Norway, he says.

CHALLENGE: Siri Gåsemyr Staalesen welcomes a thorough debate on citizenship. Photo: Hallgeir Vågenes

Awaiting fresh debate

Integration policy spokesperson Siri Gaasemyr Stålesen in the Labor Party says that the Storting already on Tuesday this week adopted stricter language requirements to obtain Norwegian citizenship.

– For the Labor Party, the individual’s opportunity to get a job and be able to support themselves and their family is the most important goal of the integration policy, she writes in a text message to VG.

– FRP will have more opportunities to discuss their proposals this winter. Among other things, we will consider a proposition on amendments to the Citizenship Act (loss of citizenship for reasons of fundamental national interests). The last time this case was up for consideration, the Storting made a decision that the government has only ignored and not taken into account. So we are facing an exciting debate.

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