Deporting rejected asylum seekers from Switzerland last year cost CHF8.5 million ($9.2 million). A third of this went towards 41 special deportation flights, used for people who repeatedly refuse to be deported.
A total of 8,590 people left the country, down from 12,000 in 2013. Of these, 2,444 left the country on their own; in 6,146 cases the person was accompanied to the airport by the police.
If rejected asylum seekers continue to stay in Switzerland, they can be put in administrative detention and forcibly repatriated. In extreme cases, the State Secretariat for Migration and the police use special flights – a controversial approach which includes the use of physical force, handcuffs and other means of confining the person.
In 2010, a Nigerian asylum seeker died at Zurich Airportexternal link shortly before he was due to be sent home on a special flight to Lagos.
The 252 people who left Switzerland on special flights in 2014 cost CHF2.8 million, according to Céline Kohlprath from the State Secretariat for Migration on Monday.
She added that the CHF8.5 million did not include the cost of police accompaniment, although no statistics for this were given.
The State Secretariat for Migration deals only with asylum seekers. It leaves it to the cantons to handle deportation of foreigners who have failed to comply with regulations on entry and residence in Switzerland.
swissinfo.ch and agencies