Maria Amelie, an author who was deported from Norway for being a “paperless” illegal immigrant in January, was set to return to Nansen school in Lillehammer on Wednesday – the place where she was originally arrested before being sent home to Russia.
After applying for a work permit in order to return legally to Norway, Amelie was granted permission to come back on April 8, and returned a week later. Last year, Amelie published a book called Illegal Norwegian, designed to bring attention to the plight of illegal immigrants who had lived in Norway for many years, sometimes since early childhood, without receiving legal papers or leave to remain.
The talk at Nansen will focus on what can be learned from the storm that engulfed Amelie during the spring, when huge media attention and supportive protests brought the “paperless” immigrant issue into the limelight. The head teacher of the school, Dag Hareide, told news agency NTB that he “believes this is the first time she has spoken in public since coming back, and therefore it is only natural for her to continue where she left off.” Hareide wants to government to introduce “an amnesty for those that have been in the country for a long time, such as has been seen in other places in Europe.”
Amelie came to Norway as a child from Russia with her parents over eight years ago in order to seek asylum. Although rejected, her parents remain illegally hidden in the country, while Amelie went on to complete her education and receive a master’s degree. She was able to return under a new law created after the attention surrounding her case, which gives failed asylum seekers who have formal education and a relevant job offer in the country the chance to reapply for a work permit.
Views and News staff