DENVER - President Trump made headlines last month when he made reference to an incident in Sweden during a speech. He clarified that he meant Sweden has seen a rise in crime tied to immigration.
USA TODAY: Trump cites (fake) attack in Sweden
In an interview with Next, Sweden's ambassador to the U.S., Björn Lyrvall, said that's not case.
"We have no evidence to the fact that immigration we've seen over the past years have given rise to increased crime levels at all," Lyrvall said while in Colorado here to discuss Swedish business, climate issues and visit CU Boulder.
Lyrvall said the crime rate has seen a downward trend over the last 20 years, and rather, painted a picture of his country as a place of growth and innovation.
Lyrvall has met President Trump in social situations, but hasn't spent any time with him one-on-one. He says his country is trying to build a new network with the Trump administration and they're navigating the current political climate.
His country is particularly watching American policy regarding refugees. Lyrvall says Sweden has always viewed America as a country of immigration.
"The reason for crime is not that you're an immigrant. The reason, if there is a crime committed-- it's people that have a background that made them move into that action."
Lyrvall explained that poverty, lack of job opportunities and difficulty integrating are more likely the cause.
And while we spoke, we had to ask. Yes, Lyrvall does have IKEA furniture, but being from Sweden doesn't make assembly any easier.
"I don't think it comes with the blood, you know? It's sort of something-- an acquired skill. We have done it numerous times over the course of your lifetimes, so you get that bookshelf together more quickly every time ... follow the instructions. I think that's the No. 1 thing to do."
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