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Switzerland Starts to Close Its Doors to Immigrants with New Quotas

Switzerland Starts to Close Its Doors to Immigrants with New Quotas

At the turn of the twentieth century, to its lasting shame, the United States had strict immigration quotas to separate “undesirables” from other, more welcome arrivals. 100 years later, it appears that Switzerland is picking up the tradition, as the nation’s voters just said “yes” to a government plan to implement quotas for immigration to the famous land-locked European country. Switzerland may pride itself on being wealthy, neutral and staid, but its citizens may have just set off a furor in an already tense political landscape in Europe, where immigration policy is a hot subject from Italy to Denmark and beyond.

The story starts with the Swiss People’s Party, which is a nationalist, right-wing organization similar to those that are creeping up across Europe. Extremist politics are beginning to take center stage in several European nations, with some nationalists even starting to enjoy considerable political power, an ominous sign on a continent struggling to adjust to a changing political, social and economic world. If the rise of right-wing extremism continues unchecked, it will lead to more moves such as this one.

Voters claim that Switzerland is getting “crowded,” a parroting of political rhetoric from right-wing groups, and argue that Switzerland is for the Swiss. But is it? Like other European countries, Switzerland benefits immensely from skilled immigrants as well as migrant laborers, and without their contributions to society, it might not function as well — or as profitably — as it does at the moment.

Under the proposal, Switzerland will limit the number of foreign people who will be allowed to live and work in Switzerland. This could backfire on the nation, as one of the reasons it thrives as an economic powerhouse is because of the considerable political and economic exchange it has with other countries. Some companies, especially banks and other financial institutions, may choose (or be forced) to relocate from Switzerland to nations where the host government will be more hospitable to their employees from around the world.

Furthermore, the vote sends a clear message to migrant workers, asylum seekers and people attempting to build better lives for themselves as they escape from war-torn, drought-ravaged, crowded regions of the world. As Europe clamps down on its borders and implements draconian immigration policies that put migrants at risk, Switzerland, too, is closing its borders and making it clear that it doesn’t want to be involved in the plight of people who need or want to relocate. Anti-immigration sentiments are already high in the rest of Europe, and it’s clear that they are in Switzerland as well — could the new regulations pave the way towards hate crimes and unequal treatment of foreign residents by indicating that immigrants are somehow lesser?

The nation’s relationship with the European Union could also be imperiled, as a number of treaties and agreements hinge on freedom of movement. If Switzerland goes through with this — and the even more radical proposal set to hit the polls next year to limit migration even further — it could indeed become an island in the middle of Europe, and it might find that the experience isn’t as enjoyable as residents expected it to be.

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Photo credit: Janet McKnight.

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8:13PM PST on Feb 18, 2014

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
― Winston S. Churchill

12:37PM PST on Feb 18, 2014

My apologies. @ David F " Capitolisim can help so many in poverty'. Assuming that you mean Capitalism, I don't see how that would affect the birth rate of ignorant irresponsible people breeding at the demands of their cardinals and mullahs.@ lynn C. "are generated by those countries who want steal the countries resources" Yes, that is the way of the world. The Romans and the Muslims that conquered Spain and invaded France BEFORE the Crusades. . And until WW1 the Ottoman Empire that occupied Constantinople, Greece and the Balkans, Yugoslavia and the Holy Land and laid siege to Vienna. @ Louise D."who will clean the houses, pick the fruit and look after the elderly if the foreigners don’t" Of course the Swiss, as they always have.@ Lauraine H, "then invest in the immigrants homeland, make it safe and place to invest." Your fantasies are incredible . Are you a CEOs wife ? @ Pat R. "nationalstic dumbheads" You don't like democracy? What then , Dictatorship? Oligarchy ? Chaos?




12:01PM PST on Feb 18, 2014

@ David F " Capitolisim can help so many in poverty'. Assuming that you mean Capitalism, I don't see how that would affect the birth rate of ignorant irresponsible people breeding at the demands of their cardinals and mullahs. @ lynn C. "are generated by those countries who want steal the countries resources" Yes, that is the way of the world. The Romans and the "Muslims that conquered Spain and invaded France BEFORE the Crusades. And until WW1 the Ottoman Empire that occupied Constantinople, Greece and the Balkans and the Holy Land. @ Louise D."@ David F " Capitolisim can help so many in poverty'. Assuming that you mean Capitalism, I don't see how that would affect the birth rate of ignorant irresponsible people breeding at the demands of their cardinals and mullahs. @ lynn C. "are generated by those countries who want steal the countries resources" Yes, that is the way of the world. The Romans and the "Muslims that conquered Spain and invaded France BEFORE the Crusades. And until WW1 the O@ David F " Capitolisim can help so many in poverty'. Assuming that you mean Capitalism, I don't see how that would affect the birth rate of ignorant irresponsible people breeding at the demands of their cardinals and mullahs. @ lynn C. "are generated by those countries who want steal the countries resources" Yes, that is the way of the world. The Romans and the "Muslims that conquered Spain and invaded France BEFORE the Crusades. And until WW1 the Ottoman Empire that occupied Constanti

11:19AM PST on Feb 18, 2014

Barb S."Romanians and Bulgarians pickpocketing on the streets of London etc" Careful. Remember when an Austrian official wanted to stop Eastern European immigrants that he correctly said were criminal and a welfare burden, and he was denounced by every other EU country as a Nazi. He hadn't learned to value diversity.@ Mother E. "they are more interested in cheap labor and future votes" It is as bad or worse in Canada where immigrants vote for the party that put them on the gravy train so it just continues. But not necessarily cheap labor. Some Moroccan scam artists are not working but have married Canadian women whose sponsorship required to pay their expenses for three year,


8:24AM PST on Feb 18, 2014

Mother E that video is an eye opener to say the least. A video everyone should watch . Thx

7:02AM PST on Feb 18, 2014

continued.......

There is a very interesting video that everyone should watch. It is a real eye opener and should shock anyone into reality.
“Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts ”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muw22wTePqQ

7:02AM PST on Feb 18, 2014

The reproduction rates in the US immigrant population are higher than the rates of the people that have been in the USA for generations. The highest are the Muslim, followed by Asian, Mexican. The generations here actually have a negative growth rate, and will be outnumbered in the not too distant future - not in our life time though but that is no excuse to ignore and prevent foreseeable problems.

Besides the damage to the culture, our laws, the safety of our citizens etc, there is the problem with our natural resources being pushed to the limit. The aquifers in many areas are being depleted. Food production will soon not be able to support the population. Allowing immigration to increase as Congress is wanting to do (they are more interested in cheap labor and future votes) is irresponsible. It is all about politics, not the American people who they are supposed to be representing and protecting. After all, they won't be around when the fit hits the shan, so they don't care. They want us to believe that we all want the immigration reform that they want, but from reading the comments here it seems that the immigration reform most people here want is to LIMIT immigration, not encourage it or amnesty everyone while leaving the borders porous, leaving us open to further illegal immigration and terrorists entering the country.

There is a very interesting video that everyone should watch. It is a real eye opener and should shock anyone into reality.
“Immigrati

6:07AM PST on Feb 18, 2014

More butthurt liberal media. This is called democracy that you guys so 'cherish'(Only when it suits you.

Switzerland is the only true Democracy in the world, all others are tyranny's out to genocide the indigenous peoples of their respective countries.

5:30PM PST on Feb 17, 2014

Switzerland is just like the US, US citizens are willing to do the same work performed by the immigrants. They just won’t do it for the same pay, and why should they, with 49.2 % of the entire population receiving some sort of government assistance?

12:33PM PST on Feb 17, 2014

I have difficulty believing the idiocy or this article. Switzerland is a small country and has previously welcomed oppressed peoples. There is a Tibetan village now in Switzerland's alps but Switzerland cannot accommodate the entire world. Fortunately Switzerland is the world's only true democracy where the people have a voice and the people have spoken and they recognize that their country is being overrun. Like any country, acceptance of prospective immigrants is properly decided by its people or its corrupt government. Btw., check whether the restrictions are on EU citizens such as Germans who want to earn Swiss francs.

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