Chinese Illegal Immigrants Live in the Shadows

by swisscham in General Interest

Cash-in-hand and underpaid jobs, fake passports and fear of being discovered by the police – these are just some of issues facing Chinese illegal immigrants in Switzerland. According to Xavier Ganioz, secretary-general of the Fribourg branch of the union Unia, the use of Chinese illegal immigrants is gaining interest “among the less well-intentioned employers”. The newspaper La Liberté has called it “a modern form of slavery”. Chinese illegal immigration is, however, relatively new to Switzerland, with estimates saying it affects around 1,000 people. “Chinese migration is internationally very significant, for example in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and Italy. It’s still relatively contained in Switzerland,” said Boris Mesaric, head of the Swiss Coordination Unit against the Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants at the Federal Police Office, without giving official numbers.

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