In Geneva, the controversy over identity checks carried out by border guards takes a political turn. At the beginning of February, associations for the defense of undocumented migrants denounced an increase in arrests near the Thônex food distribution center. It has since closed and the beneficiaries have been redirected to other places. Today, socialist and green elected officials are mobilizing to obtain answers from both the canton and the Confederation.
Harmless to everyone, unannounced identity checks can have irreversible consequences for people without legal status. Since the beginning of the year, the Collectif de support aux sans-papiers has recorded dozens of dismissal notifications per week. Not to mention those who no longer dare to leave their homes and give up asking for help. “In the midst of a pandemic, these intensified controls near the border and train stations but also in transport instill a climate of fear and upset the fragile balance established in the distribution of food”, deplores the co-chair of the Geneva Socialist Party Lydia Schneider Raise, going so far as to evoke a “criminalization of poverty”.