Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Degrading naturalization talks

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They are Swiss – in every respect. Except on paper. Born in Switzerland, grew up here, went to school here. However, they do not have the Swiss passport.

Some of them applied for naturalization, were confronted with degrading questions by the authorities and rejected on flimsy grounds. The message: You grew up here, but you will never be Swiss.

That’s a problem. Not only for those affected, who feel rejected – and are powerless in the face of the authorities. A woman who has lived here all her life puts it this way: “I don’t know what else I can do to make me naturalized.”

The events also have consequences that are not statistically recorded. Degrading conversations keep many more people from even applying for naturalization. And this despite the fact that they feel Swiss, feel at home here and want to have a say.

Naturalization talks with arbitrary, absurd questions – “Name a Swiss chocolate brand” – should be abolished. They serve no one, but do a lot of damage. And precisely among those who want to commit themselves to this country.

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