Switzerland votes in a referendum Sunday on whether foreigner citizens who commit two minor offences, like traffic violations, in the space of 10 years should be automatically deported. Switzerland faces ‘difficult talks’ with EU after immigration referendum. The referendum asks whether any foreign national found guilty of two lower-level infractions, including fighting, money laundering, giving false testimony and indecent exposure, should be expelled. The vote comes at a time when many European countries are hardening their attitudes to migrants after more than a million arrived on the continent last year. A quarter of the people living in Switzerland have a foreign passport, the majority of them from European countries.
More than half of Swiss voters backed strengthening rules to automatically expel foreign nationals convicted of violent or sexual crimes in a referendum on the same topic six years ago.
But the populist right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which won the biggest share of the vote in parliamentary elections last October, has accused parliament of dragging its feet on writing the text into law and watering it down when it did so last March.
Known for its virulent campaigns against immigration, the European Union and Islam, the party has proposed tougher rules, calling for “a real deportation of criminal foreigners”.