New Swiss referendum

The Swiss people recently ratified a referendum that forbids the construction of Muslim mosques with minarets attached, and now Swiss People’s Party proposed the organizing of a new referendum that will deport from Switzerland all immigrants who committed a crime.

This new referendum could enter in a conflict with the 1951 Geneva Convention about immigrants status. The convention says that no immigrant should be deported if he faces inhuman treatment, racial, political or religious discrimination in his own country of origin.

However the Geneva Convention was clearly made to protect fellow Europeans from Communist tyranny but today the convention is highly outdated as no one really faces such discriminations anywhere on the planet. The convention has also been misinterpreted many times and used for wrong purposes. Today it serves as a gateway for Muslims exremists, who are prosecuted in their counties of origins such as Syria, Somalia, Turkey, Egypt etc. to enter freely into Switzerland, according the SPP.

The legal situation in Switzerland seems set to change following the vigorous campaign for a referendum on deportation of foreign criminals launched by the anti-immigration SVP, which is a key element in the ruling coalition. It was in the run-up to the 2007 general election that the SVP launched its campaign to raise the 100,000 signatures necessary to force a referendum in order to introduce into the penal code measures that would allow for the deportation of the entire family of a convicted criminal under the age of eighteen, which is of course ridiculous.. There was consternation in parliament, as critics pointed out that if the law was passed, it would be the first such law in Europe since the Nazi practice of Sippenhaft, although there is of course a huge difference between being deported to the concentration camps and being expelled for serious crimes to their countries of origin or other European countries.

By February 2009, the SVP had already collected 210,000 signatures, more than double compared to what the law requires, and in response to the pressure from the SVP a new Aliens Bill was introduced into parliament that aims to establish precise criteria as to when a residence permit could be withdrawn from a foreign offender. Under the proposed legislation, foreigners sentenced to two years imprisonment or more, or having accumulated the equivalent prison sentences over a period of ten years, would have their residence permit rescinded and therefore be liable for deportation and they will also be banned from entering Switzerland from 5 to 15 years. In less serious cases, the draft Bill allows the authorities to judge for themselves whether to withdraw the residence permit of the person concerned.

This referendum is only a soft version of the original project that was supposed to deport all immigrants who asked for asylum in Switzerland. In fact,  this bill is simular to regulations in the USA, where an 'alien' after having comited a third crime automatically will be expelled.

The State Council, (superior chamber of the Swiss parliament), decided on December 10, 2009 to resend the proposal of SVP to the special commissions who will have to decide at the beginning of 2010 if the new referendum is compatible with the Geneva Convention and with the Swiss Constitution.


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