Swiss voters approve limitations on immigration

Article publisher: 
Posted on NumbersUSA - The New York Times
Article date: 
Monday, February 10, 2014
Article category: 
National Issues
Article Body: 

Swiss voters approved a ballot initiative on Sunday that limits the number of foreign citizens from European Union countries that are allowed to live and work in the country and gives preference to Swiss nationals for open jobs. Although not a member of the EU, Switzerland agreed to the free flow of labor with other EU nations in 2000.

Currently, Switzerland has immigration quotas in place, but EU nationals were exempt from those quotas. This weekend's vote will remove that exemption. The country has the highest immigrant population in Europe with 27 percent of the country's population not of Swiss citizenship.

Switzerland joins another non-EU member, Great Britain, in looking to tighten up its immigration laws. Both nations are concerned about dealing with the economic impacts of large labor pools and the strain that population puts on public welfare systems.