“Cast them out” read the posters and the Switzerland could do just that.
The country is holding a referendum today on whether to deport foreigners convicted of crimes in the country, with a “yes” vote expected.
The right-wing Swiss People’s Party, or SVP, is behind the poll.
“Those who threaten our security, those who do not permit us to go onto the streets alone at night, we want them out of Switzerland,” argues party member Andreas Glarner.
Migrant groups though believe that the referendum is the latest attempt by the SVP to stir up racial hatred.
“It’s all about the fear of globalisaton,” says
Ivica Petrusic from the Migrants Association. “There are many different cultures in Switzerland today and people are afraid of that. The Swiss People’s Party has been exploiting this for years.”
If the law is passed, foreigners found guilty of serious crimes such as murder, rape and drugs trafficking would be automatically deported to their country of origin after serving their jail sentences.
Shock campaigns against immigrants have proved successful in the past. This latest one could also sway voters with a recent poll suggesting 54 percent of people will say “yes” to the proposal.