How to help? This question has inevitably arisen since the Islamist Taliban took power in Afghanistan. In addition to accepting 10,000 refugees, left-wing parties are demanding that all Afghans living here be able to bring their families to Switzerland.
The Swiss Refugee Aid also suggests that the federal government simplify family reunification. So he should – similar to the 2013 war in Syria – Facilitates issuing visitor visas for family members in Afghanistan. At that time the rush was great; around 4,000 Syrian parents, grandparents and grandchildren came to Switzerland this way.
The Federal Council does not want any easier family reunification
The Federal Council will not be aware of any similar relief at the moment. Afghans could submit a request for family reunification that would be judged “according to the matching criteria”, last migration chief Mario Gattiker (64) told the media on Wednesday. At the moment the problem is that it is hardly possible to leave Afghanistan.
Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter (57) added that around 20,000 Afghans live in Switzerland, 15,000 of whom are still in the asylum process. You have no right to family reunification while the procedure is ongoing. Only a minority of Afghan citizens in Switzerland have a clear residence status, said Keller-Sutter, and Kleine Aussicht on family reunification.
Refugee journalist: “The Taliban were so angry that they would have killed us all”(10:58)
Keller-Sutter is wrong
However, Keller-Sutter was wrong; her department subsequently corrected the statement on its own initiative. Most of the Afghans living here – 11,500 people – have the status of temporarily admitted. Their asylum application was rejected, but they cannot be turned away.
Temporarily admitted persons have the option of applying to the cantonal migration authorities three years after receiving their status to allow their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 18 to join them. The prerequisite for this is that the family lives together in a changed apartment, is not dependent on social assistance and speaks the national language at the place of residence.
2800 recognized refugees
The recognized Afghan refugees in Switzerland – around 2,800 people – are also allowed to join their family members, provided that the family community existed before the flight and there are no special reasons against it.
Only a small proportion of Afghans have no prospect of family reunification – for example, those who are still in the asylum procedure. Contrary to what Keller-Sutter claims, this is not 15,000 people, but only 870.
Tough Austrians impress SVP
The situation in Afghanistan was also the subject of today’s meeting between the Justice Minister and the Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (48). Switzerland and Austria agree that the focus is currently on local aid, the Department of Justice announced after the meeting.
The ÖVP minister made headlines in the last few days because he will not be without deportations despite the tense situation in the Hindu Kush. He suggests deporting rejected Afghans to centers in neighboring countries such as Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan. “In these countries there is still air to take in people,” the Austrian quotes him “Courier”.
With its tough stance, the Austrian ruling party has already become the model of the SVP in this country. Their representatives are also calling for rejected Afghan asylum seekers to be deported from the region. There are currently 170 Afghans living in Switzerland who actually have to leave the country. The federal government had suspended their deportation last week. It should stay that way for the time being. (til / gbl)
After escaping from Afghanistan: President Ashraf Ghani reports on video(01:13)
Army helps with evacuation: Swiss special forces are sent to Kabul(01:54)