Senate favours stop to sham marriages

The Senate has given its support to a law that would end the right to marry for asylum seekers and illegal residents in Switzerland.

This content was published on May 26, 2009 - 11:18

Parliamentarians passed the motion with a vote of 27-12, despite opposition from the political left, which argued that such legislation would put the constitutional right to marry in danger.

The law has already gained the support of the House of Representatives.

During the debate on Tuesday, Maximilian Reimann, from the rightwing Swiss People's Party, said that each year there are up to 1,000 cases of marriages of convenience in Switzerland by people trying to stay in the country.

Under the new law, foreigners seeking to wed must first produce evidence of legal residency. Those who fail to do so will be reported to the immigration authorities.

Anita Fetz, from the centre-left Social Democrats, said that Switzerland already had tools to prevent sham marriages and criticised the fact that the authorities would be turned into whistleblowers. with agencies

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