Migration in Switzerland
Foreign born people in Switzerland make up approximately a quarter of the population. Despite a jobless rate of less than 3%, higher economic growth than expected and a strong currency, the Swiss general public are concerned that too many people are coming to Switzerland. This concern paved the way for doubtful amendments to the law.
The Swiss government has come under pressure from both the right-wing People’s Party and the Green Liberal Party, which say immigration has reached unsustainable levels.
This year a quota was passed for all EU citizens coming to Switzerland. After the quota for the EU 8, countries that joined in 2004, was introduced last year a quota for the EU 17 followed this year. Immigration to Switzerland from Bulgaria and Romania – the two newest EU states – is severely restricted.
The quotas can in theory only last for 12 months, but Switzerland is due to hold two referendums aimed at limiting immigration.
Furthermore, in June 2013 almost 80 per cent of Swiss voters voted for a restriction of the asylum law. Under the new rules military desertion is no longer a reason for granting asylum, and asylum seekers cannot now apply through Swiss foreign embassies.
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