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Will Switzerland’s Turn Against Immigration Force Out Expat Executives?

An electoral poster for the Feb. 6 “Stop Mass Immigration” referendum in Zurich
An electoral poster for the Feb. 6 “Stop Mass Immigration” referendum in ZurichPhotograph by Michael Buholzer/AFP via Getty Images

Switzerland is introducing what could be one of the most dangerous experiments in the history of immigration reform.

Swiss voters approved a plan in referendum on Sunday that will set new limits on the number of foreigners who can settle and work in their country. Details haven’t been worked out yet, but strict curbs would be catastrophic for major Swiss industries such as pharmaceuticals, where 45 percent of employees—mainly skilled professionals—come from outside the country.