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Swiss asylum-seeker controversy brings world-wide attention

This is an update of a story we posted last week about how some towns in Switzerland with detention facilities nearby, fearing crime, are restricting the movement of the ‘asylum-seekers’ from mostly Muslim countries.
This is from AFP and posted at Fox News, but the story is being reported in a whole host of media outlets.
Africans arriving in Switzerland (via Malta!) in 2012
Swiss citizen:  If they don’t like our laws they can go somewhere else or back to the country they came from!
Switzerland is one of the countries in Europe thatwelcomes the most asylum seekers in proportion to its population, with some 48,000 people currently in the process of applying for asylum in the small Alpine nation, including 28,631 who arrived in 2012 — the highest number since 1999.   [Welcomes!  Reporters world-wide have fallen for their lingo!----ed]
Amid the recent spike in refugees, Switzerland has been rushing to open a slew of temporary asylum centres.


According to the World Bank, Switzerland is the 6th richest nation by GDP per capita, above the United States (7th) and the United Kingdom (22nd).  Wealth inequality (the gap between rich and poor) in Switzerland is also lower than in the UK or the US.

The Swiss have one of the lowest unemployment rates, at 2.9%, the kind of figures that the UK (7.8%), the US (7.4%) or Greece (26.7%) can only dream about.
Switzerland has one of the lowest immigration rates of any nation on earth, at just 1.27 immigrantsper 1,000 people last year; this is lower than Luxembourg (8), Italy (5), UK (3), and the Netherlands (2).
Switzerland is also by no means homogenous, with a historic legacy of immigration leaving 20% of the country with an ‘immigrant’ background (meaning they are descended from immigrants). This immigration is almost entirely 19th-20th century European immigration.  As a result the country hasfour official languages; German, French Italian and Romansh.
So if Switzerland is one of the wealthiest, most equal countries on the planet, with a legacy of immigration but no major immigration issues today – why on earth is it closing its borders and becoming an Apartheid state?
Switzerland earned the ire of the EU in April this year as it announced a cap on EU immigration of just2,180 for 12 months.  This is in direct contravention of the policy of open borders within Europe which permits the free movement of Europeans across the continent. Although not members of the EU, Switzerland has approved bilateral treaties with the EU for the free of movement of persons.
In June, 80% of Swiss voters backed government plans to place tougher rules on those seeking asylum in the nation.  These rules mean people can no longer seek asylum for being conscientious objectors or deserting foreign militaries – this mainly targets African asylum seekers fleeing conscription in Eritrea.
But it didn’t end there.  Local authorities are now introducing wide ranging and draconian restrictions on asylum seekers, announcing thirty two Exclusion Zones, that it public spaces which asylum seekers are no longer permitted to enter - including swimming pools, libraries and churches.  One of the rules even includes no ‘loitering in school playgrounds’ implying the most negative of connotations upon those seeking asylum.
See source for more      Thank you Michael

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