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Foreign criminals who have been sentenced to more than two years of prison should face expulsion, said the Swiss Federal Council, according to a recent report in the Tages-Anzeiger daily newspaper.

The Federal Council's proposal--representing a tightening of current law--is in response to last autumn's initiative brought by the Swiss People's Party (SVP), which called for a nationwide vote on the expulsion of all foreign criminals.

In addition, the Federal Council is proposing the two-year expulsion criterion be uniformly implemented across cantons. Current law gives each canton latitude in determining the fate of its foreign criminals.

According to the SVP, the Federal Council's counterproposal doesn't go far enough. Rather, the SVP advocates automatically deporting those who commit violent crimes, sex crimes, burglaries and social system abuses, plus those who are involved in human or drug trafficking.

The Federal Council released its recommendation in conjunction with a Federal Department of Justice and Police study that revealed a spike in the number of foreigners sentenced to prison between 1985 and 2005.

During that 20-year timeframe, the number of foreigners sentenced nearly trebled, while the number of Swiss citizens sentenced plummeted. In 2005, 60...

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