Swiss politician guilty of helping illegal immigrants

The 43-year-old regional parliamentarian is believed to have helped facilitate the illegal entry of nine migrants last year Keystone

The public prosecutor of southern Swiss canton Ticino has found local parliamentarian Lisa Bosia Mirra guilty of facilitating the entry of illegal immigrants into the country on multiple occasions. 

This content was published on April 13, 2017 - 16:24 and agencies

In a statement released on Thursday, the prosecutor said Mirra was guilty of violating the Swiss law on foreigners, and handed her an 80-day fine suspended for two years. The member of the Social Democratic party and her accomplice were intercepted by border guards in September 2016 while transporting four migrants of African origin in a van from Italy to Switzerland. 

It is estimated that Mirra has helped facilitate the illegal entry of nine migrants between and August and September 2016. She is the founder of a refugee support group Firdaus that provides meals to migrants congregating at the Swiss-Italian border and documents violations of their rights.

Last summer, Switzerland’s border with Italy became a flashpoint in Europe’s migrant crisis, with a build-up of people along Italy’s frontier. 

Asylum seekers trying to cross Switzerland were being returned to Italy in accordance with the Dublin accord, which requires them to register at the first point of entry in Europe.

Swiss authorities have blamed the build-up along the Italian border on an influx of African migrants seeking passage to north European countries such as Germany. Most of the thousands of migrants who have tried to reach Switzerland through Ticino have been turned back since early July.

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