Swiss voters have approved tougher regulations on asylum and have limited immigration for citizens from outside the European Union.
On asylum voters were evidently convinced by the government's arguments that harsher measures against asylum abuses were necessary to avoid social tensions and provide protection for those fleeing persecution.
Justice Minister Christoph Blocher of the rightwing Swiss People's Party – who is at the forefront of the reform – warned of an increasing number of asylum requests and high costs for the country's welfare system.
The amended law on foreigners in principle limits immigration for citizens outside the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (Efta) to highly skilled labour.
It also aims to encourage integration, in particular by language courses, while cracking down on human trafficking and marriages of convenience.
The cabinet, as well as three of the four main parties, are in favour, but opponents criticised the restrictions for family members of immigrants and harsh jail terms for illegal immigrants who refuse to leave the country.
The law passed by 80%. EIGHTY PERCENT. I think that means a large majority of Swiss want to have stricter laws on immigration.
Predictably, the U.N. is condemning Switzerland for passing these new laws.
William Spindler, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said he regretted the outcome of the referendum. "It will now be necessary to ensure that the rights of asylum-seekers and refugees remain protected and that the new laws meet international standards," he said.
If only the U.N. would be as concerned about the laws meeting 'international standards' in the nations these people are fleeing. If those nations met 'international standards' than there would be much less a need for the nations that DO meet those standards to make EVEN MORE room for 'asylum-seekers'. Or you might call them 'illegal immigrants' or whatever you want to call people who come to these countries to try to better their lots in life or to take advantage of generous welfare systems paid for by the hard working tax payers of those nations.
It looks to me like the people of Switzerland are attempt to keep the country from being crushed under the weight of those seeking to take advantage of it's once generous welfare system. That's what happens when a system is abused.
Not to worry! Switzerland can always ignore the U.N. like everybody else does.
Crossposted at Blue Star Chronicles