Today a referendum in Switzerland produced a sweeping 67.8% vote in favor of toughening the country's asylum laws. Every Canton (State) voted for the proposal. The vote is a personal triumph for Justice Minister Christoph Blocher, leader of the Swiss People's Party, who has played a pivotal role in shifting his countryís immigration policy towards restriction. Blocher is invariably described as Right-wing and a billionaire. (Why doesn't America have such billionaire patriots?)
The reality is it would be extremely easy for tiny Switzerland (population less than 6 million native Swiss) to be utterly swamped by immigration, particularly given the countryís high prosperity and central location on major European trade routes. And the usual disingenuous voices are raised to promote that objective, ranging from International Aid Bureaucrats comfortably ensconced in the country, to shamefully, a former President employing a familiar mau-mauing tactic:
“During World War Two, Switzerland turned away Jews, calling them ‘false refugees’ — and that is a slogan which marked this campaign,” said former Swiss President and Socialist minister Ruth Dreifuss, who is herself Jewish
(Swiss voters approve tougher asylum barriers by Richard Waddington, Reuters, Sep 24, 2006)
Part of the reason the Swiss are able to defend their country arises from an elegantly simple technique: Aliens cannot become citizens easily, so they cannot vote. Non-Swiss make up 20% of the population, some reportedly third generation residents. This is actually a much higher proportion than in the U.S.