MALMO, Sweden, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A Swedish city mayor's plan deport immigrants who commit serious crimes is being criticized by other Swedish officials, including the prime minister.
Malmo Mayor Ilmar Reepalu said he also wants to set up a temporary citizenship status for new immigrants as a way to deter raising crime rates in Malmo's Seved district, The Local reported.
"A model where it is relatively quick to gain Swedish citizenship but which entails a few years' probationary period in which someone who commits a serious crime doesn't yet have protection against deportation," Reepalu told the Tidningarnas Telegrambyra news agency.
"It seems many of the serious criminal gangs come here and keep a relatively low profile until they get their citizenship. Then, once established here in Sweden, they develop a platform for international criminal activity."
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt dismissed the proposal of categorizing of citizenship.
"We have proposed many ways to tighten the penalties for serious crimes regardless of who the perpetrator is. The frustration in Sweden is that there are far too many crimes not leading to prosecution. But that should not get mixed up with citizenship, which can not be divided up into sections or subcategories," said Reinfeldt. "Either you're a citizen or you're not."
Mariam Osman, a member of the Social Democrat's governing board, also discredited Reepalu's proposal, saying, "This smells like pure racism. We can't have people divided into two categories."