Swiss Voters Want to Expel Foreign Criminals
Voters in Switzerland are in favor of a proposal that should immediately deport foreigners who have committed certain crimes. Over 50% support the plan that was drawn up by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party. Foreigners who commit murder, rape or other serious crimes, like drug-trading are to be thrown out of the country immediately.
The government put up a different proposal. It does not want to send criminals back to countries that may torture them or put them to death. It says that every single case should be looked at and decided by independent courts.
Switzerland has a large number of foreigners, about a fifth of the country’s total population. Many Swiss citizens are blaming them for the rising crime rates. 60% of criminals locked up in Swiss prisons are not Swiss nationals.
The People’s Party argues that only hardworking, decent foreigners should be allowed to live in Switzerland. Many only want to come to the country to benefit from the welfare system. Ultimately, they want to become Swiss citizens, a very difficult process that takes a long time.
Those who are against the proposal claim that the Swiss People’s Party wants to increase xenophobia in the country. They also say that children of foreigners born in Switzerland could get sent to a country they have never seen before. Such children are not automatically Swiss citizens.
The government has declared that it respects the Swiss people’s decision. It fears, however, that a new law kicking out foreign criminals will be against EU laws that the Swiss have signed.
- argue = to give reasons for something
- benefit = profit , get advantages from
- blame = to think someone else responsible for something bad
- case = here: a criminal and what he has done
- citizen = person who lives in a country and has rights there
- claim = to say that something is true
- commit a crime = to do something wrong or illegal
- court = place where a trial is held ; where a judge and a jury decide if someone is guilty or not
- crime =illegal actions in general
- crime rate = how often crimes happen compared to the number of people
- decent = honest, people you can respect
- decide = to make a choice or to judge something
- decision = choice
- declare = to say officially
- deport = send back
- draw up = create, make
- fear = to be afraid
- foreign = from another country
- however = but
- immediately = at once
- in favor of = to be for something
- lock up = to put someone into prison
- national = citizen
- prison = a place where people are locked up after they have committed a crime
- process = act
- proposal = plan, suggestion
- put up = create
- rape = to make someone have sex with you, mostly through violence
- respect = here: follow the results of the vote
- right-wing = very conservative
- serious = bad
- sign = to put your name on a document or agreement
- single = on its own
- support = in favor of, to be for something
- torture = to hurt someone in order to get information out of them
- ultimately = in the end, finally
- vote = to be in favor of a plan or new law by marking it on a piece of paper
- welfare system = the help that you get from the state
- xenophobia = if you do not like or are afraid of people from other countries