A poster in Zurich opposing the citizenship measure was graffitied over to read “Unchecked incitement? No — Yes to an easier path to citizenship,” instead of the original “Unchecked naturalization? No to an easier path to citizenship.” Photo Credit Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters on the NY Times website

Switzerland Votes to Ease Citizenship for Third-Generation Immigrants

Article in The New York Times
12 February, 2017

“The posters seen in several cities and provinces featured two very similar young women: both born in Switzerland, educated in Swiss schools, now in their 20s and working full time in Swiss jobs. They even share the given name Vanessa.

The point, though, was the crucial way they differ. One Vanessa is a Swiss citizen, while the other is not, and is locked in a lengthy and expensive process to obtain citizenship even though her family put down roots in Switzerland two generations ago.

The posters backed a government-sponsored measure that would ease the path to citizenship for third-generation immigrants like the second Vanessa. And on Sunday, the measure was approved in a nationwide referendum.

The outcome went against the recent tide of right-wing populism and anti-immigrant sentiment in much of Western Europe. Just over 60 percent of votes were in favor, including majorities in 17 of the country’s 23 electoral cantons — a minimum of 12 are required to pass — despite a right-wing campaign that sought to stoke fears of Muslims infiltrating the country.”

Some sun ray among depressing other news. It still is baffling that over 40% of Swiss citizens voted against an easier naturalisation process for residents whose families have been in Switzerland for three generations. Some Swiss citizens are certainly less socially integrated than most of those “migrants”.

To read the full article, please click here. 

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