Navigation

Illegal immigrants take their case to Bern

Demonstrators want residency rights for immigrants who are no longer entitled to remain in Switzerland Keystone

Supporters of illegal immigrants seeking residency rights in Switzerland have taken their demands to the justice minister, Ruth Metzler. The move comes two weeks after a group of illegal immigrants ended their occupation of a church in Fribourg.

This content was published on September 5, 2001 - 17:58

A delegation of 50 people travelled to Bern on Wednesday to give a list of their demands to Metzler. They are seeking residency rights for immigrants who are no longer entitled to remain in Switzerland, as well as an end to deportations.

They also want equal working conditions, fair salaries, and social cover for all workers in Switzerland, as well as an extension of collective bargaining agreements.

The move comes after a group of illegal immigrants and their supporters vacated a church in Fribourg after occupying it for 12 weeks. The immigrants left the building before the police moved in and took up residency in an arts centre in the city.

The federal authorities have ruled out any kind of blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants. Some 300,000 people are thought to be living illegally in Switzerland, many of them holding down jobs.

A recent survey showed that 60 per cent of French-speaking Swiss support granting residency status to illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in Switzerland for several years.

swissinfo with agencies

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know: community-feedback@swissinfo.ch

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?