Interior minister Anders Ygeman said the Scandinavian country has been far too lenient with migrants who have either arrived without legal documents or refused to show them to authorities.
Adding a policy change was required to ensure a fair legal process, he said: “If a person doesn’t have an identity document, I think you clearly have to place the burden with the individual to prove their identity.”
Mr Ygeman also argued identification of a person was of immense importance because it allowed authorities to assess whether or not the individual had the right to seek asylum in Sweden, and whether or not they had the right to protection.
In 2016, around 60 per cent of those who arrived in the Scandinavian country produced ID papers early in the asylum-seeker process.
However, the interior minister explained people smugglers were convincing migrants it would benefit them to arrive without any form of ID – something he dismissed because the legal framework Sweden operates with makes it difficult an unidentified person to gain asylum.
Mr Ygeman said: “There is an [idea] spread by smugglers and others that it would be better if you didn’t have an identity, that a person shouldn’t have a passport with them, but it is a false [notion].
“Basically, it is the applicant themselves who are responsible for making their identity known. It has been interpreted slightly differently… but that has to be the foundation.”
The Swedish Migrant Board and police have urged the government to give them new powers to they can more efficiently determine a migrants true identity.
Suggested measures include being able to unlock someone’s mobile and laptop, check their social media sites and being able to do full body searches at any point throughout the asylum seeker process.
So far in 2016, 18,000 asylum seekers have returned home or moved to another country, however nearly 2400 of the migrants were deported.
The interior minister’s demand for a crackdown on immigration to Sweden comes as the country was plunged into further turmoil earlier in December after MPs turned on each other over the European Union’s migrant policy.