littlehearts

To all those illegal immigrants out there, gettin’ some good cross-cultural luvin’ I have this to say: let’s hope your honey bunny isn’t Swiss.

Cuz if they are, and you decide that they are the One, and you wanna get married have lovely little bilingual babies and raise them in the land of neutrality, chocolate, and watches, you may have a bit of a problem.

From El País:

The Swiss parliament has announced a controversial initiative to outlaw marriages of Swiss citizens with foreigners who lack legal papers or asylum seekers. Which is to say, they wouldn’t be able to get married in Swiss territory. The proposal, which enjoys the support of a parliamentary majority, is intended to put the brakes on marriages of convenience, or for papers, seen as the only possibility for legalization for numerous illegal immigrants who live in the country….According to authorities, one in four mixed marriages would be suspect. In 2007, 58 people lost their Swiss passport for these types of irregularities.

Sigh. It is a harsh day for Swiss love. 1 in 4 may be a sham. So by prohibiting all such marriages, 3 in 4 of them would be destroyed for the heck of it, and those people denied their great love! (ok most’ll probably die the death of divorce even if they weren’t shams, but it’s Valentine’s Day let’s be a little optimistic). Again, harsh.

There is resistance to the initiative organizing, particularly among the Swiss Green Party, the Socialist party and immigrant advocacy groups. Bus this raises the question of whether there is a fundamental right to get married, on the level of a human right. Last year, a judge in the U.S. decided there was, and reversed the decision of an official to deny a marriage certificate because the groom could not produce a visa. I’m not sure of what the requirements are in the U.S. or in parts of Europe, but it seems that this is a pretty drastic measure. I know that people can certainly get married here in Spain no matter what their legal status (and yup, I know folks who have done it for papers).

I understand on cracking down on sham marriages (and even here in Spain, the land of the lazy bureaucrat, they require quite a lot of hoops be jumped through) but wouldn’t it be more productive, not to mention less cruel, to concentrate more resources on weeding out fakes, and let people truly, obviously in love, marry? Or is this the romantic in me getting carried away on Valentine’s Day? I just want to share the love.

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