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A poster of Swiss People's Party (SVP), demanding to vote for an initiative to deport criminal foreigners, is placed underneath another one against it at the central railway station in Zurich, Switzerland February 12, 2016. Switzerland will hold a binding referendum later this month on whether to subject any foreign resident to automatic deportation if convicted of offences running the gamut from murder to breaking the speed limit. The poster on top reads, "Say no to the inhuman SVP initiative" and the one underneath, "At last make things safer! Say yes to deportation of criminal foreigners". REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann
The Swiss have spoken.
ANTI-ANTI-IMMIGRANTS

Swiss voters have rejected a proposal to vigorously expel foreigners who commit crimes

By Anne Quito

The Swiss have sided with immigrants. In an historic referendum held today, 59% of Swiss voters rejected the proposal to efficiently expel foreigners who commit crimes—major or minor—without appeal or due process. The “expulsion initiative” proposal called for foreigners who commit any two crimes within a 10-year period—be it grave crime like murder or a lesser infraction like arguing with a police officer—to be expelled from Switzerland immediately.

The country’s largest political party, Swiss People’s Party, led the robust anti-immigrant campaign, famously using its controversial xenophobic black sheep posters to make its point.

“Today was important for Switzerland because the majority of voters said that national law shouldn’t supersede human rights,” said Justice minister Simonetta Sommaruga, as Bloomberg reports.

Today’s referendum drew 62% voter turnout in Switzerland, the highest since 1992.