Asylum: Leaving room for refugees is a matter of quotas


Leaving room for refugees is a matter of quotas

Accommodating applicants is becoming more and more complicated. The authorities are sometimes forced to take a radical path.


In Windisch (AG), 50 people will have to pack up.


The controversy is growing in German-speaking Switzerland. On Friday, the case of a tenant from Seegräben (ZH) having to leave his apartment so that the municipality could accommodate refugees there set the networks ablaze. On Monday, all eyes were on Windisch (AG), where around fifty residents are to be discharged after the Canton reached an agreement with the owner of three buildings to turn it into an accommodation center. In both cases, the reactions were strong. But the authorities are inflexible and say they are constrained.

It’s about quotas. The Confederation requires each canton to welcome a certain number of refugees (read box). Then, everyone organizes themselves as they want. In Aargau, we are trying to open a center where we can. In Zurich, each municipality in turn has its quota, depending on its population. Moreover, the municipality of Seegräben confirmed yesterday that it was wrong. She’s already reaching it and wouldn’t need to kick out the tenant. Despite everything, it confirms the termination of the Zurich resident’s lease. New applicants will arrive and the place will have to be freed sooner or later. However, a period of time will be granted to the gentleman.

In Geneva, there is no municipal quota, only that of the Confederation counts. But, there too, the situation is “critical”, according to Bernard Manguin, communicator at the General Hospice. He must “constantly look for new places of accommodation”. On the other hand, no one has received a lease termination on the initiative of the political authorities.

The reception of refugees is overseen by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). However, the federal centers are full and the Cantons are called upon to contribute. The Confederation has a distribution key. Geneva, for example, must accommodate 5.8% of people that the federal state can no longer manage itself. Two weeks ago, the SEM indicated that it expected the number of asylum applications to increase further in 2023.

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