A problem in the judiciary

Professor Martti Koskenniemi criticizes politicians and bureaucrats for inaction with the Finnish "grandma problem", where elderly parents of long-time immigrants and citizens are deported from the country, sometimes in ways that seem to be very unfair. Politicians have promised to rework the law, but they have been slow in guiding the ministry. The police and immigration authorities have delayed the deportations in anticipation of law changes, but now they are starting to feel that they can no longer ignore their duties and legally valid decisions passed by courts of law.

I think Koskenniemi is misguided, or worse, dishonest. He criticizes the legislative and the executive, while the actual heartless party is the judiciary. In some way it is of course understandable that Koskenniemi criticizes others, not his own profession, but as said, to me this sounds dishonest. Reminds me of the old saying about crows not picking the eye of another crow.

Let's elaborate. The classic Montesquieuean separation of state powers is that the legislative (politicians, parliament) passes laws, the judiciary (judges and lawyers) interprets them, and the executive (bureaucrats, including police) implements. In some banana republics, it is not unheard of that El Presidente tells a court what to decide, or tells a ministry official to bypass the law, or even invents a new law ad hoc. But in established democracies, the separation of state powers is a strong tradition. It would be really scary if the bureaucrats were taking direct orders from the president or the prime minister, bypassing laws and their interpretation as established by courts.

Our administrational courts have come across criticism both ways, for being too strict and being too lenient, and I think both criticisms can be valid at the same time.

It's inconceivable that constantly reoffending criminals cannot be deported. One obvious example is the infamous Ibrahim Shkupolli, who I mentioned before. Although he was routinely violating restraint orders, the police never even proposed to deport him because they knew such an initiative would have the chances of a snowball in hell. It's big news that one (1) Somalian constantly-repeating offender was deported, and even he gives interview statements where he vows to return - and plenty of hapless "no borders" activists seem to be willing to help him.

It is also inconceivable that at a time when most front-line politicians speak very favourably of immigration, particularly job-related immigration, we're not taking into account that immigrants are not just workforce, immigrants are people. They're humans. The people don't come out from void: they have background, history, they have families. If you bring the bread-winner of a family to Finland, the family will eventually be dependent on this person and the family wants to live together and take care of each other. There's no such thing as a purely job-related immigration without families (unless you do it in the Dubai way, which we would consider serious exploitation).

The centerpiece of the "grandma problem" is heartless courts. The problem is not the legislative or even the current law - which could allow people like Eveline Fadayel, Irina Antonova or Marina Senchishak to stay with their family members in Finland, if the courts just decided to read what it says in paragraph § 52 of the Immigration Act. Also, the problem isn't the bureaucrats or the police. I have noticed the police are well aware that if they forcefully remove a sick, elderly person from her bed or wheelchair, tie her to a stretcher and dump across the border, this person is as good as dead, whatever Vladimir Putin says about good care of the elderly in Russia.

Come on: in the case that I know, the old person had a distinctly visible skin cancer, in fact a huge bulb, in her head. The Russian care of the elderly never noticed it - the person herself couldn't say anything because she unable to speak, or to be precise, her Finnish daughter is the only person who can understand her speech after brain hemorhage. The Russian care of the elderly never even met her, because she was starving in her flat, bed-ridden in her own stench, until her daughter managed to take care of her in Finland (and arrange the cancer operation at a private doctor, at no cost to the taxpayer - credits to the doctor who barely charged expenses, not to speak of anything close to a regular market price in private healthcare).

There has to be a limit. We cannot take everyone aboard in a welfare state; the line of needy people in world is endless and way beyond our resources. But when we are drawing the line, I think it is fair to say that it would be inhuman if we have a person who has come to the country over 20 years ago, married, learned the Finnish language, worked hard to make a living, raised her children to be Finnish-speaking Finns, but still wants to take care of her elderly mother - and then this mother should be left across the border to rot and die.

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