In an effort to crack down on the influx of mainly Muslim economic migrants from the Middle East and North Africa while making them easier to deport, Switzerland has officially banned citizenship for migrants who have accepted any form of welfare in the last 3 years. For those who cannot or choose not to provide valid documentation about their country of origin (a majority), they would have to pay back all the welfare benefits they received before even being considered for permanent status.
Breitbart Migrants who have lived on state handouts will have their citizenship applications denied in a monumental move to prevent foreign welfare abusers from living in Switzerland and on taxpayer funds indefinitely.
The new regulations will make it impossible for asylum seekers and migrants who have lived off state handouts in the last three years to become citizens even if they have lived in Switzerland as permanent residents for the required time to make a citizenship application, Kronen Zeitung reports.
The previous law allowed migrants to apply for citizenship as long as they were not on state benefits at the time of their application. Along with the welfare stipulation, the new act requires migrants to demonstrate a greater level of integration than before including making them prove they have a certain number of Swiss friends and acquaintances.
Language requirements vary by canton with most expecting an intermediate level of language proficiency judged on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) at the B1 or B2 level.
While Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, asylum seekers have attempted to flood into the country through the southern Italian border. While many have used Switzerland as a transit country to reach Germany, others have remained in the Alpine state.
Various cantons and cities in Switzerland have attempted to push back against the tide of migrants by making it less appealing for them to come to the country. Late last year, the city of Zurich voted to dramatically cut benefits to failed asylum seekers who were in so-called “F-status” in which they cannot be deported.
An estimated 5,300 failed asylum seekers live in the Zürich canton with “F Status” meaning that whilst they have failed in their asylum claim, the government cannot deport them back to their home country because of potential dangers to them.
Formerly, migrants with F status received around 900 Swiss Francs (£691) per month but now will receive only the emergency fund amount of 360 Swiss Francs (£276) each month.
The legislation has gone into effect as of January 1 and will urge migrants to obtain full-time employment as well as reimburse the nation for any welfare received during their stay. Those who meet this requirement will have the right to apply for Swiss citizenship, a privilege that countless migrants have sought in order to exempt them from extradition in the event that they are convicted of a deportable offense.
The law will also make permanent residence documents granted to asylum seekers and migrants invalid as long as they have lived on welfare benefits in the last 3 years. The previous legislation provided a loophole for welfare abusers who were not receiving state handouts only during the time of their application.
Many of the migrants entering Switzerland have also come without any form of identification, making it even more difficult to process their asylum claim or deport those not approved for asylum status.
Swiss national councillor Simonetta Sommaruga revealed late last year that the government is unaware of the true identity of nine out of 10 asylum seekers in the country, mainly because they discard any documents they had, and try to claim to be refugees from Syria, which they believe will give them priority status.