European migration policy and the rise of populism
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Italy: approval of the controversial Salvini Decree-Law
The controversial “Salvini Decree-Law” was approved by the Italian Senate on the 7th of November and Parliament on the 28th of November, further hardening the Italian government’s stance on migration.
This law involves the abolition of humanitarian visas and removing the right to apply for residency to legally staying foreigners, effectively prohibiting them from accessing healthcare and the job market.
As a direct result of this law, 24 people who had previously received “humanitarian protection” were forced to leave their reception centre for asylum seekers in Isola Capo Rizzuto, in the south east of Italy. Among these were victims of sex trafficking and a child.
Several mayors across Italy, including those in Palermo, Naples and Florence, have decided to suspend the application of the text where possible in their own jurisdictions.
Leoluca Orlando, the mayor of Palermo, considers the Salvini decree “inhumane, a violation of basic human rights and a source of needless criminality, turning legitimate residents into illegal immigrants”. Matteo Salvini, the minister of the Interior, immediately reacted to these rebellious mayors, saying that “You’re not harming me – you’re harming Italians everywhere, who just want peace and quiet,” and taking advantage of the situation to attack his political opponents: “These people are friends of illegal immigrants and the enemies of Italy. They should stand down if they’re unhappy about it.”
Governors of several other regions, including Piedmont and Tuscany, have also spoken out against parts of the text. Sergio Chiamparino, the governor of Piedmont, even called on the Italian Constitutional Court to repeal the Decree-Law.
This text compiles various articles originally published in the “Veille Europe” of France terre d’asile: one from November available in French HERE, one from December available in French HERE and one from January available in French HERE.