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Shift to the right: Switzerland wants ‘total travel ban’ for failed asylum seekers

Shift to the right: Switzerland wants ‘total travel ban’ for failed asylum seekers

Switzerland’s government made a surprising decision regarding migrants and asylum seekers. On Wednesday, the government expressed its intention to ban the travel for people permitted to stay in Switzerland on a temporary basis after having their bid for asylum rejected, The Local Switzerland reported.

The Swiss government, or The Federal Council, is going to tough the migrants’ policy. The Federal Council and its new Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter, who has a reputation for toughness on migration issues, have now gone a step further than even the Swiss parliament. The law has now gone out for consultation before final approval from the parliament.

The recent draft law is important to the around 40,000 holders of ‘F’ permits in Switzerland. That huge group made up of people who have had their bid for asylum rejected but cannot be deported because they may face danger in their home country – would not be allowed to travel overseas.

If they do, they would automatically lose their right to live in Switzerland. Of course, there are many exceptions in the draft law, which defends human rights. The State Secretariat for Migration said that exceptions would only be made in cases where short-term trips home were being used to prepare for a future definitive return.

The Swiss government had previously rejected a parliamentary motion calling for a blanket ban on F permit holders travelling to their home country. For many experts, that move is the shift to the right, which becomes more popular in the EU countries over five years.

F issue caused hot political discussions in Switzerland

The Greens MP Balthasar Glättli said the ban was unnecessary and an “unjustified limit on the freedom to travel”, starting the new discussion.

He said the draft law was a nod to the anti-immigration Swiss People’s Party (SVP) which has argued for years that Switzerland is too easy on asylum seekers. The SVP has repeatedly stated that asylum seekers who ‘take holidays’ at home should be deported on their return to Switzerland.

Many Swiss employers are reluctant to hire F permit holders because of the provisional nature of their residence, while their qualifications are often not recognized.

According to Swiss government, F permit holders would in future be able to move to another canton if they find work or educational opportunities there. Currently, this is not the case but the situation is changing so fast.