Immigrant group pleas for legal status

A support group for illegal immigrants has called on the authorities to grant legal status to at least 173 people as part of a collective amnesty.

This content was published on March 13, 2012 - 17:41

A spokesman said a regularisation of status similar to that in neighbouring countries could end a political stalemate.

He said the situation for rejected asylum seekers and other foreigners without permits had worsened over the past four years.

In a meeting with Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga on Tuesday a delegation asked her for assurances that the 173 people listed would not be deported.

However, it did not receive any promises, according to a government official.

Similar moves, including a formal petition calling for the legalisation of an estimated 100,000 illegal immigrants in Switzerland, have been made over the past two years.

In the past supporters also occupied the headquarters of the Social Democratic Party in Bern calling on the centre-left group to put the issue higher on its agenda.

In 2000-2001 support groups occupied several churches as part of public protests.

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