• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Proposal 'would expel 18,000 foreigners a year'
Image from Swiss People's Party campaign to expel foreign criminals. Photo: SVP

Proposal 'would expel 18,000 foreigners a year'

The Local · 12 Jan 2016, 12:26

Published: 12 Jan 2016 12:26 GMT+01:00

The SVP initiative, to be decided by citizens in a national vote on February 28th, calls for the automatic expulsion from Switzerland of foreigners convicted of criminal acts.

The initiative goes further than a similar one, approved by the electorate in 2010, that calls for the expulsion for foreigners convicted of serious crimes, such as murder, rape, armed robbery or drug trafficking, as well as abuse of social benefits.

The SVP maintains that federal authorities have been too lax in implementing the initial measure, which has resulted in around 500 people a year being expelled.

The party argues that ensuring non-Swiss troublemakers are booted out of the country will guarantee safety for law-abiding residents.

But a multi-party committee opposing the SVP proposal said it is contrary to fundamental principles of the rule of law, as well as serving no purpose and being expensive for the cantons to implement.

“We are gathered here today to say that we must block the passage of this initiative,” Filippo Lombardi, a Christian Democratic senator from Ticino told a press conference in Bern on Monday, Le Temps reported.

Among the committee’s concerns is that foreigners born and raised in Switzerland would be subject to the proposed legislation, as well as asylum seekers and foreigners without proper permits.

A Spanish cleaning lady living in Switzerland for 40 years who forgot to make social security payments for three months would be automatically expelled from the country under the proposed legislation, the committee warned.

Giving another example, the committee said a teenaged foreigner apprehended with a Swiss teen for stealing bottles of booze from a camping car would end up being expelled from Switzerland, while the Swiss culprit would end up with a fine.

In all, around 18,000 people a year would be kicked out of the country, opponents said.

The measure would also add one more problem to the difficulties Switzerland already has in its relations with the European Union, the committee said.

Story continues below…

It noted that the measure would also be incompatible with European human rights law.

Despite the committee’s objections, a recent online poll showed that most people support the SVP’s initiative.

The poll conducted for 20 Minutes newspaper, showed 61 percent of respondents backed the proposal, with 36 percent opposed.

More than 32,600 people took part in the poll, conducted from January 5th to 7th. 

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
WHO calls for action against air pollution
File photo: Issouf Sarego/AFP

Nine out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air, the World Health Organization has said.

Two arrested in police raid on Basel mosque
File photo: Michele Limini/AFP

Police in Basel raided a controversial mosque in the city and arrested two people on Tuesday morning, Swiss media reported.

Families slapped with hefty rise in health costs
File photo: Marcel Grieder

Health insurance premiums will rise by on average 4.5 percent for adults and 6.6 percent for children in 2017.

Neuchâtel votes no to foreigners running for office
Photo: kuhnmi/Flickr

Neuchâtel voted on Sunday against an initiative that would have made it the first Swiss canton to allow foreigners stand in cantonal elections.

Swiss voters say no to higher pensions
Photo: AFP

Swiss voters on Sunday rejected a plan to increase pension payments by ten percent.

Italians enraged by Ticino foreign worker vote
File picture of Lega Nord leader Roberto Maroni. Photo: AFP

The leader of Italy's Lega Nord is plotting "adequate counter-measures".

EU warns Swiss over vote to curb cross-border workers
Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann (R) and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker met in Zurich on September 19th to talk about the implementation of Swiss immigration restrictions. Photo: AFP

The EU warned Switzerland on Monday over a vote by one of its cantons backing curbs on migrants, an issue being closely watched in London as a possible template for Brexit negotiations.

Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Twelve thousand women participated in a race against breast cancer in Le Mans, France, October 2014. Photo: AFP

The study suggests a link between aluminium salts and breast cancer.

Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Airolo in the Gotthard Pass. Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl

Voters in Ticino on Sunday strongly backed an initiative giving preference to local workers over foreigners.

France demands 45,000 Swiss accounts in tax hunt
Photo: AFP

France is tracking down UBS account holders.

Sponsored Article
7 tips for learning Swiss French
Photo: AFP
National
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
National
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Photo: File
Politics
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Education
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
Photo: AFP
Society
Swiss ‘slave children’ to finally get compensation
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss-image.ch
Lifestyle
Zurich named ‘greenest’ city on the planet
Photo: Swiss
National
Brawl over seats forces Swiss to abort flight
Photo: Daniel Stockhammer
Culture
Research shows typical Swiss chalets ‘not actually Swiss’
Photo: AFP
National
Switzerland to get nationwide disaster alert system
Photo: S3
National
Swiss space firm boss left badly injured in violent attack
Photo: ETH Zurich
Education
ETH Zurich crowned best uni in continental Europe – again
File photo: Martin Abegglen
National
Report: Swiss citizenship rules leave some stateless
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
Fatal crash: pilot told to fly below safe altitude
Photo: Peter Linke
Business & Money
Elderly Italian on benefits stashed €1m in Swiss bank
Photo: Stuart Richards
Society
Court sides with chickens in dispute over noisy henhouse
Photo: SAC
Lifestyle
Hiking: 7 incredible Swiss Alpine Club cabins
Photo: David Abercrombie
National
Swiss politician arrested over illegal entry of migrants
Photo: Coiffure X
National
Chewbacca stolen in ‘terrorist attack’ on Swiss hair salon
Photo: AFP
National
Foreigners in Switzerland surpass 2 million mark
Photo: AFP
National
Expert predicts major quake for Switzerland by 2040
Photo: The Local
National
Geneva runs out of permits for non-EU workers
Photo:C Carlstead
National
Geneva advises teachers on religion in school
4,281
jobs available