Credit card fraud: He has been waiting for deportation for two years

Raul Hernandez *, who spent three years behind bars, should have been sent back to his homeland two years ago. The Cuban is in despair and wants to go home.

Raul Hernandez should have been deported to Cuba two years ago.


After spending 3 years in prison for credit card fraud, Raul Hernandez * should have been deported to Cuba two years ago. But this 42-year-old man still lives in Switzerland. Going home, he’s just waiting for that: “I’m desperate,” says the Cuban.

His dismissal has been delayed several times: “The authorities are blocking my departure and I do not know why”, explains Raul Hernandez. He asked the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) for help, but without success. “I did not even say goodbye to my mother, now deceased”.

The Cuban is only waiting for one thing: to get on a plane and return to his country. He has found the necessary air connections and has already made arrangements to stay with his sister on her return. He still has a family there, including two children. Raul Hernandez even has plans to “open his box, maybe a kiosk or a snack bar”.

The 42-year-old is depressed by his current condition. “I am not allowed to work and cannot have my own home”. Not wanting to live in an asylum center, he sleeps with acquaintances. Raul Hernandez explains that he has to “turn” with only 200 francs per month. To be able to meet his needs, he therefore moonlights. “I help on a farm or in a mushroom farm”. He earns between 10 and 12 francs an hour.

The Cuban is ashamed of his financial situation: “It hurts me not to even be able to pay for my children to eat.” Raul Hernandez has four in Switzerland, who live with his ex-girlfriend and ex-wife. These would remain in Switzerland. “I prefer that they come to visit me occasionally in Cuba rather than see me here like that”.

The SEM does not speak

Raul Hernandez does not know how long he will be able to hold on to these conditions: “I know that I risk committing another crime one day, if it continues like this for a long time,” he admits. This man has no perspective. He knows he could make more money by selling drugs or stealing. “But I don’t want to do this. I promised my sons that I would not commit any more crimes ”.

If his expulsion has not taken place so far, it is for financial reasons. Because Cuba has a special regulation: any person wishing to return to the country after more than two years of absence must apply to recover the right of residence. But it costs at least 500 francs, including the fees, an interpreter and the train ticket to the embassy in Bern, explains the Cuban. “But the State Secretariat for Migration will never give me money for that.”

Does the SEM therefore prevent the expulsion of the Cuban? And why does the procedure take so long? We do not provide information on individual cases, explains Lukas Rieder, spokesperson for the State Secretariat for Migration. Usually, the length of a procedure depends on the person’s willingness to return home. Forced returns to Cuba are not possible.

According to Lukas Rieder, the administrative fees, such as those demanded in the case of Raul Hernandez, are only covered by the canton or by the SEM in “special situations”. The reasons preventing the Cuban’s expulsion therefore remain a mystery.

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