Stefan Nystrom has made the Australian and the Swedish news. The 33 year old has just been deported from Australia to Sweden, because of his criminal history. Apart from his first 25 days of life he has never been to Sweden. He was born here while his mother was on holidays. He does not speak Swedish nor does he have any knowledge of Sweden. There was no mention in either of the articles I read as to whether he has family here or not.
There is something vaguely ironic about a criminal being deported from Australia, the nation that was founded with criminals from England, not deported but transported for their misdeeds. Mr Nystrom’s mother apparently never applied for citizenship for her son, and as a non citizen, the Immigration Department decided to rescind his residency status, since he is seen as a “risk to the Australian community.” The decision was upheld by the High Court.
So Stefan Nystrom arrived at Arlanda Airport on New Years Eve. I wonder what happened to him. There was some discussion in The Local about whether he was supposed to be met by Swedish authorities or not. The bottom line seemed to be that since he is not a criminal here the State bears no responsibility for him. So I suppose he just waked out of Arlanda a free man to start a new life.
He seems to have just disappeared into the Swedish community. Will he feel lost and lonely? Will he struggle with the culture and the language, a crisis of identity? How does such an experience affect a person such as him? Does he in fact have a place to go? Is there some shady community which will draw him in? Will he rediscover his roots and be changed to a new man? Or will he respond to this displacement by a worsening pattern of behaviour? Will he be as much of a risk to the Swedish community as he was to the Australian? Will he simply end up in A Swedish jail months or years down the track?
The whole story is a bit surreal. But perhaps life is like that sometimes. Certainly makes you think…