Italy’s Immigration Policy (2008)

Edited on May 22, 2008
Italy, at the southern edge of the European continent, faces a lot of illegal immigration.
People cross the Mediterranean Sea flowing in from Albania, North Africa and other confining countries. Others came from the Balkan area during the Balkan Wars in
Ex-Yugolslavia. Meanwhile refugees from the war afflicted Balkan States were mainly accepted by the Italian people, others like immigrants reaching the Italian southern
coastlines using boats or other departed from North Africa or Albania had mainly be refused. Shortly the new problem, on which also focused a session of the European
Parliament, is the inrush of Rom people. Roms are a minority of several nationalities, not only Romanians. They are gypsies. In times of standstill in the Italian economical growth,
raising tax pressure, stumbling politics many Italians are disappointed how things go on in their country.
Due to increased crimes committed by foreigners (as reported by Italian’s Interior Affairs Department) the Italian government passed a bill to ease the expulsion of EU
citizens as a large number of Rom people comes from Romania. Romania was admitted to the European Union in January 2007. The bill is applied to all EU citizen not able to maintain
themselves using legal sources (work, salary, etc) and could lead to expulsion if EU citizens are caught committing crimes or just having an illicit employment or if they lack
a residence in Italy.
Recently, media agencies, newspapers, TV news services and so on, are spotting on crimes committed by foreigners, especially Romanians. This behavior leads to an increasing
xenophobic position of the Italian people. If there is a rape committed by a foreigner you can see the headlines in first page with capitalized letters. If it happens vice-versa,
for instance a Romanian woman gets raped by an Italian, the only thing you can read (if you are willed to leaf through the newspaper) are few lines of it.
In the last decade, due to the increment of elder people (a trend going on in nearly all industrialized countries that has a huge impact on welfare costs) the request for domestic
assistance at home to care about them raised constantly as family members are not able to take care. A lack on qualified and willed personnel to do this job lead to hire immigrants
as caretaker for older people. Many Italians do not know that immigrants they dislike are the spine of a private domestic assistant market where many of them have a legal job and
without their assistance many older people might have been abandoned to themselves. These “immigrants” are the real complementary part of a non perfect Italian welfare system. A
system regularly hit by corruption, miss management and other reasons.
Crimes are committed either by Italians, either by immigrants. What we need to avoid is a generalization of immigrants tagging them all as “illegals” or “criminals”. The Italian
immigrant policy, passed as a “pre-bill” to deal with this emergency of crime, needs to be applied in a more specific way where every single individual should be screened if there
are conditions to kick him or her out. I do agree that immigrants filed with crimes need to be expelled no matter if they are EU citizens of Western countries like France or
Germany, or from Romania, Poland, North Africa, etc. The main threat is the tendency that pushes the Italian folks (and media is really nourishing that trend) to a more “xenophobic
position” against immigrants. The EU Parliament addressed a session to debate on Rome’s Immigrant Policy. And they do right when they “take an eyeball” on how Italy deals with