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Old 06.07.2019, 13:57
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Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

Trump's policies regarding refugees got me thinking about Switzerland's own issues dealing with refugees.

In Switzerland, the May 2019 statistics are as follows:

1,226 applied as asyl seekers, which is 42 less than in May 2018 but 108 more than last month.
Asyl seekers came from Eritrea, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey and Sri Lanka (in order of amount of applications)

The State Department for Migration dealt with 1834 asylum applications at first instance in May. 339 applications were rejected (of which 265 were based on the Dublin Convention), 574 received asylum and 430 were provisionally admitted. The number of cases pending at first instance fell 10 551 (a decrease of 486 from the previous month.

Taken from:
https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/de/home...019-06-19.html

I've taught asyl seekers and children of asyl seekers. The most significant difference between those students from my personal experience is the gratefulness shown for the education system. Asyl seekers are incredibly thankful for the opportunity for education and the ability to work whereas the second generation have split feelings of loyalty between Switzerland and their parents' home country. The "Secundos" appreciate the high quality of Swiss life but still often feel more emotionally connected to their cultural origins.

Switzerland's integration program for young asyl seekers include immediate German courses, followed by a year-long integration/basic education schooling so that ultimately, these refugees can take part in an apprenticeship program with subsequent employment opportunities.

So basically, after initial (and time-consuming) vetting, Switzerland invests tax money in order to give these refugees attractive employment opportunities as soon as possible. The system works quite well.

My own roots are both American and Swiss so I understand American's hesitancy and frustration towards immigration. Trump's extreme policies have been implemented as a statement to keep refugees from coming. Democratic socialism, which includes showing sympathy towards those fleeing from an oppressive country, has been demonized by many.

Being an American, it hurts me to see the conditions of life the refugees who ultimately reach America are exposed to, however I understand the idea of using tax money to integrate these refugees can be daunting and frustrating. There needs to be a compromise and Trump should look beyond his borders to see how other countries have handled the situation and adapt successful strategies instead of treating refugees as criminals. (Especially considering he is considered by many to be one of the most dangerous criminals himself.)

What do you think?
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Old 06.07.2019, 14:09
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

I think Trump is a muppet and will look nowhere for any solution (well maybe into his pocket).
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Old 06.07.2019, 14:13
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

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I think Trump is a muppet and will look nowhere for any solution (well maybe into his pocket).
Trump's supporters share Trump's radical view towards immigrants whereas some Democratic candidates go, in my opinion, too far with the idea opening the borders.
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Old 06.07.2019, 14:25
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

Taking in asylum seekers does nothing to help the people stuck in the home country and often rewards those people who can afford to pay smugglers to get them out of their home countries (it costs circa USD 3,000 per person to get from Syria to Europe). I see no rational benefit to taking in a few people who had the resources and network to escape. Many of these asylum seekers fail to integrate and quite a few come to resent their new homeland when they realize that all that glitters is not gold. Far better to help solve the issues in their countries so that these people can achieve their potential at home.
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Old 06.07.2019, 14:28
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

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Taking in asylum seekers does nothing to help the people stuck in the home country and often rewards those people who can afford to pay smugglers to get them out of their home countries (it costs circa USD 3,000 per person to get from Syria to Europe). I see no rational benefit to taking in a few people who had the resources and network to escape. Many of these asylum seekers fail to integrate and quite a few come to resent their new homeland when they realize that all that glitters is not gold. Far better to help solve the issues in their countries so that these people can achieve their potential at home.
I don't disagree that the best solution is creating a better quality of life in their home country but unfortunately, that is easier said than done.
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Old 07.07.2019, 12:09
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

There's another thread around here about asylum seekers vs. economic migrants. I think a large number of those trying to get into the U.S. and Europe aren't fleeing war or political imprisonment, they just want to make a better life for themselves.

European governments seem to be sympathetic to both at least on some level, but are wary of the human trafficking. The American approach is largely that they're coming to steal our jobs, and I almost never see anything about people fleeing wars.

I think some of those that help these migrants mean well, but all they do is keep the human trafficking going. Someone is getting rich off all the boats and caravans, but it's not the poor people in them.
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Old 07.07.2019, 12:17
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

The difference is that the majority of asylum seekers in Switzerland are actual asylum seekers. The majority of those turning up at the Mexican border are not.
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Old 07.07.2019, 12:38
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

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The difference is that the majority of asylum seekers in Switzerland are actual asylum seekers. The majority of those turning up at the Mexican border are not.
Based on olygirl's stats above, the first statement seems true (more than 1,000 granted or provisionally admitted compared to 339 rejected). I've not seen stats from the USA, so I don't know.
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Old 07.07.2019, 13:08
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

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Based on olygirl's stats above, the first statement seems true (more than 1,000 granted or provisionally admitted compared to 339 rejected). I've not seen stats from the USA, so I don't know.
It is all hard to compare, only a minority of the applications is done by people who already are on American soil, and a lof of those allowed entry already have been reviewed by the United Nations. So a big shifting has already been performed on the majority.

And refugees is one part of al that cross the border, the illegals who don't apply is another much larger group. America had 10.5 illegal immigrants in 2017. I don't know how many there are in Switzerland but imagine this to be a much smaller group (on percentage) since it seems to me that this country is much harder to live in completely under the radar.
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Old 07.07.2019, 14:16
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

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I don't know how many there are in Switzerland but imagine this to be a much smaller group (on percentage) since it seems to me that this country is much harder to live in completely under the radar.
Even with substantial cash assets, it seems it would be difficult to live here continuously without proper documentation. Maybe if you had a network of friends or family that were cooperating with the arrangement, it might be possible. I’ve never encountered anyone that I even suspected was here illegally.

Are forged documents/identification common here? A big problem in the US is that they allowed illegal immigration to become an industry. There are full support networks available for every aspect. Documentation, people smuggling, housing, employment. There is an entire undocumented economy running.
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Old 07.07.2019, 14:26
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

Anybody who know us Americans by now,

Knows that we say one thing and do another.


Basically, without immigrants there would be no body to clean up our messy homes, do shit work and put food on the table.


God forbid if they should ever stop coming.
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Old 07.07.2019, 14:31
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

Proper looking papers is one thing (which fails the instant the check the numbers), it is also the practical things that make it harder here to survive as an illegal. Medical attention for example, the US has some states with safety-net hospitals that offer medical aid to undocumented people, here one might have a more serious problem if medical attention is demanded, and to earn money.. can you imagine people of a non-native color standing next to the road holding up a sign "work wanted"? and what store/company would risk having undocumented people at work here?
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Old 07.07.2019, 14:33
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

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Anybody who know us Americans by now,

Knows that we say one thing and do another.


Basically, without immigrants there would be no body to clean up our messy homes, do shit work and put food on the table.


God forbid if they should ever stop coming.
Maybe wages would have to go up, meaning more income and less expenses due to lower unemployment for the state so taxes can be lowered.

Works great for Switzerland
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Old 07.07.2019, 14:37
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

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Taking in asylum seekers does nothing to help the people stuck in the home country and often rewards those people who can afford to pay smugglers to get them out of their home countries (it costs circa USD 3,000 per person to get from Syria to Europe). I see no rational benefit to taking in a few people who had the resources and network to escape. Many of these asylum seekers fail to integrate and quite a few come to resent their new homeland when they realize that all that glitters is not gold. Far better to help solve the issues in their countries so that these people can achieve their potential at home.
And if it were you and it was going to us 20 years to sort things, would you be OK in being left in a camp in the mean time. It is awful easy come up with solutions when you don’t have to live them.
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Old 07.07.2019, 15:31
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

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Maybe wages would have to go up, meaning more income and less expenses due to lower unemployment for the state so taxes can be lowered.

Works great for Switzerland
Switzerland imports it's farm and construction workers, nannies and house cleaners just like any other country and they earn diddly shit.
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Old 07.07.2019, 19:21
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

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Switzerland imports it's farm and construction workers, nannies and house cleaners just like any other country and they earn diddly shit.
There have been cases of abuse there but on the whole, that's just not true.
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Old 07.07.2019, 20:25
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

Let's do a Trump-free reality check

Both countries do profit from legal immigration (overall). Some of those legal immigrants indeed "take jobs" that otherwise locals would do, but in the huge majority of cases, that's not the case. Those immigrations are usually win-win for both the immigrations as well as the local country. Quite some people here on EF are probably legal immigrations, too.

Then, we got the illegal immigratans that are granted "asylum status". Those people, who quite correctly described by olygirl, are supported massively in Switzerland. With all the courses paid, it's quite normal for a single person to cost the state about 50k per year (Housing+allowance+education+insurances are about 4k per month) once they're out from the central asylum centres and put into individual flats. And at that point, quite some manage to get wife+children in, too. Which, as you can guess, will make their yearly costs for the Swiss state go just one way, up, up, up. A family of 5 can cost the state easily 150k. Or much, much more. Per year. Every year.

So, per year, such a family of 5 costs the Swiss taxpayer about as much as 15 tax-paying families with 2 average incomes (7k per month) will pay into the system. Those numbers are all very "averaged", of course some illegal immigrations won't get a wife and many children over, but others can't keep their children in check and needs TONS of more (monetary) support.

As you can see, even just 1000 "extra" immigrants per month will cause a massive pressure on the system. For a very, very long time. Every month, they'll take the funds needed by 15000 average tax-paying families.

One year? 180.000 Family tax-incomes required. And then the next year, it will be ADDITIONAL.

Now, of course there is hope that after a few years of education, some might eventually find a job and cost LESS (not nothing, though) - but the problem is, they'll be hard to find motivation for that.

As said above, they'll be paid everything by the state as long as they need "support". Once they could earn their own money, they'll no longer be on the "free for everything" list. Which will actually make their situation not better. And with their kind of background, only VERY; VERY FEW will eventually be able to score a job that would get them more than what they can receive being on social benefits (for a family of 5, they'd have to earn more than about 6500 CHF per month to do so..)

As you can see, there is little motivation for any of them to actually get a job and (slowly) start to repay even a small amount they've cost so far.

This isn't true for every asylum seeker of course. Some definitely will work hard, happily accept low-paid job, work their way up. But unfortunately the numbers - especially from some African countries - don't point into this direction. More like still a huge majority being completely dependant on cash payers money even after 5++ years.

So, it's very clear that the current system won't be able to sustain itself very much longer, the costs are just too high, and just as with young (Swiss) people, it's unfair that someone who never contributed to the system will get the same amount (or even more) than locals who worked all their life, lost their job with 55, and eventually ended up on social benefits after slowly working through their small savings with 60.

The current system in Switzerland is VERY, VERY attractive for asylum seekers (who, by the way, are almost always no real asylum seekers since they're coming from a safe 3rd country)

The US system, on the contrary, is built in a way that you don't want to be "catched". Almost all illegal immigrants are working low-paid jobs, they can't count on free handouts. Just as with anyone else in the US having to fight for survival, since their social benefit system is more-or-less a joke.

So they hardly cost the US much money, and neither are those people taking away jobs. No US citizen would work in the conditions they've to do. And without those "illegal aliens", quite some areas in the US would have massive trouble to keep their economy afloat.

That's why it's quite interesting to see such massively anti-immigration policies in the US, while in Switzerland, the BIG financial problems that have been created (and are getting worse) seem to be more put below the rug than ever.

Immigration - legal and illegal one - is just one of MANY topics where I think that the structures the world is running on is simply not built to handle it anymore.

Sweden got to it's extreme limits during the "refugee crisis" a few years ago and went for quite extreme measurements to handle it. Eventually, it doesn't really work out well, but they simply had to stop their "everyone accepted" strategy. A country can't run on full welfare and basically hand it out to everyone.

This is also why Switzerland is VERY vary of accepting all those conditions the EU demands for free immigration. Conditions of living for (most) Romanians would improve, living in Switzerland on social benefits as compared as having an average job in Romania.

And it's not just Switzerland, the EU, the US or anyone. It's simply the fact that free migration doesn't work well UNLESS a country really wants immigration. In history there were such cases where immigration was encouraged, and it's still happening in some areas/countries. The US still does profit from it, but it's not having a welfare state.

India has huge slums from people immigrating to the cities from the countryside without a place to stay (or on many cases, without jobs)

Brazil? Favelas, just like all over Middle/South America. Africa? Don't even have me started.

When States fail to organize internal immigration, their cities will become worse VERY fast.

For good reasons, China (still to some extend nowadays) had to control it's population from moving freely. It's a harsh measurement, but it worked well. Only when you could show you've got a job / place to life you can settle down somewhere else legally. Vietnam is doing it quite similar.

Compare this to other, "fast growing" Asian countries (India was mentioned before, but lets throw in Indonesia, Phillippines..) and it becomes clear that a country does need to keep it's immigration under control to some extend.

Which makes me coming back to the US. It would profit A LOT when they'd run a "legal low qualification work system". They'd be able to have a saying on who they'd let in, could give clear instructions that at least reasonable English is needed (which the immigrants would be very egger to learn in Advance, then), the jobs would be properly taxed, immigrants protected from abuse, and could simply take a plane / bus to the US, rather than enduring so much misery.

But obviously, no sane solution will be implemented during the current catastrophy calling itself "President". Just as I can't see Switzerland actually getting it's act together and change it's Social Benefits system in a way that will be sustainable.
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Old 07.07.2019, 21:31
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

@Yuropflyer, you're confusing and mixing up a lot of things. Freedom of movement within EU (and to some extent between EU and CH or countries with a similar status) is legal immigration/migration.
For the moment, you never know what can happen in the future.

Asylum seeking is something else. Illegal immigration is also a different kettle of fish. Probably many illegal immigrants (would) apply for asylum because there're not many possibilities to have a legal status in most countries.

Now, shall we return to OP's issue? Thanks.

Oh, and btw, there are many "sans papiers" living in CH. Their number is unknown, only in Zurich there's an estimated no. of 10 000 people.
A lot of people fight for legalising their situation.

https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/prd/de/...s-papiers.html

Last edited by greenmount; 07.07.2019 at 21:44.
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Old 07.07.2019, 21:43
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

greenmount, maybe if you read my posting again it should become more clear to you that I didn't wrote about a single area (legal/illegal) but about migration in general, and the costs it will occur to a country.

In which the immigration from EU states - especially the new, poorer eastern one - to Switzerland becomes quite an important aspect. Right now, Switzerland has issues with ILLEGAL immigration (mostly), the legal migration is in it's majority benefiting for Switzerland. As it is for the US. Without all those skilled (mostly Asian) legal immigration, I doubt it would be doing so successfull in quite some areas. Legal migration is a very important asset to countries nowadays. Where would Australia be without it?

Maybe I've tried to add too much information into my posting above, but the basics are that legal immigration is beneficial in almost all cases to both countries (as well as the human beings actually doing it ) while illegal immigration is often not helping the country it does receive. With immigration itself SOMETIMES being encouraged heavily (historically the US, just as one example), and sometimes not at all (say, Japan, who even struggles with allowing urgently needed legal immigration)

It's a difficult topic that can't be reduced to a single area in my eyes. It's what SVP (or, on the other extreme, SP) are doing, and being blind on one eye isn't working. You simply need to take the big picture into mind when talking about it.

We've never been away from OP's issue - unless you think so?
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Old 07.07.2019, 21:53
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Re: Asyl Seekers: Switzerland vs. USA

I don't know what should be discussed about asylum seekers, everything is probably covered by the legislation. Those who can prove they meet the conditions to be granted asylum or refugee status will get it, those who don't will probably be deported. If you, as a country, have signed all those international treaties that put you on the map of the civilised world, you have to respect them.
And then again, you never know if this legislation will remain as it is or will become even less permissive.
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