Switzerland is poised to vote on a controversial law that will allow for all immigrants – EU citizens included – to be automatically expelled from the country if they commit a crime.
Even benefit fraudsters and burglars are targeted by the proposed new law, which polls show is likely to be passed in a referendum scheduled for November 28.
The pro-expulsion campaign involves posters featuring a black sheep being kicked out of the country by several white sheep. The referendum will be held almost exactly a year after a previous plebiscite banned minarets on mosques.
The referendum proposal began to gain traction two years ago when three foreign-born men from the Balkans beat a young carnival reveller to death in Locarno.
Switzerland’s parliament, fearing repercussions from the EU and the wider world, has released an amended “counterproposal” with a list of serious crimes that would qualify a foreigner for expulsion.
But the Swiss People’s Party, which has spearheaded the campaign for the law, is against any “dilution” of the proposals. “Switzerland can’t become a land of milk and honey for foreign criminals,” said Walter Wobmann, an MP.
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