Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 12:24:10 PM EST
I'm really hoping Prodi is Italy's next Premier, and this is real interesting news, from the diaries (with edits for emphasis) ~ whataboutbob
Romano Prodi, leader of the Italian center-left coalition, and major candidate to replace Silvio Berlusoni as Premier in the Administrative elections to be held next April, has decided to courageously defy the conventional wisdom and the prevailing European attitude of cracking down on Muslim and other forms of immigration (legal and illegal), and has stated he will liberlize current immigration laws, in the wake of the horrible terrorist attacks which have taken place throughout the Western world.
Prodi, who has also recently come out in favor of a complete withdrawal of all Italian troops from Iraq if elected in April, has also declared that, under his leadership, a majority center-left government would also revoke the Bossi-Fini laws which were introduced three years ago by Gianfranco Fini (head of the ex-fascist National Alliance) and Umberto Bossi (head of the separatist, neo-Nazi Northen League) and passed overwhelmingly by the right-wing dominated Parliament.
The Bossi-Fini laws, which originally provoked tremendous controversy in the rest of Europe for being extraordinarily harsh and racist, have since come to be considered fairly tame by post-London bombing standards.
Italy has an extremely harsh and brutal immigration policy which recently become an interantional scandal when it was condemned by the European Human Rights Commision as "racist" and "cruel". The enormous flood of immigrants (mostly refugees but the Italian goverenment doens't distinguish)from North Africa and the Balkans provoked a popular reaction partcilarly in the North (wealthy hypocrite area) againt the "extra-communitarians" (code word for all non-Italian and non-Catholic races and religons). Oh yes, I'm going to be very blunt here folks!! So the Berlusconi government made a deal with Muamar Gheddafi in which they decide to forcibly repatriate illegal immigrants coming from Libya and Libya woud set up appropiate shelters. The shelters were never set up but the tens of thousands of people from all over Africa, if they manage to survive the voyage on thin boats acroos the Meditteranean, are forced to turn back and wind up lost in the middle of the Libyan desert dying of thirst and famine.
Here are the law's key provisions as detailed by an article in La Repubblica from July 2002:
PERMESSO di SOGGIORNO (a sort of equivalent to a green card in the US): given only to foreigners who can demostrate that they already have obtained a work contract. The "permesso di soggiorno" is cut to two years from the previous three; if during this period the foriegner has lost his employement he must be either leave the country or be considered an illegal immigrant.
QUOTAS: by the 30th of November the Presidente of the Counsel (Premier), after participating in the unified National-Regional Conference, must publish a decree announcing a fixed quota on the number of "extra-communitarians" (immigrants from outside the EU) who shall be allowed to enter. The decree is not a obligatory, however, and it is theoretically possible that for one year the Premier may decide not to let in any foreigners or to let in more than usual as he sees fit.
SPONSOR: the figure of the immigrant sponsor is eliminated. Immigrants can no longer get favorable treatment based on having "sponsors" already resident in Italy.
House Cleaners and Babysitters: it will be possible to regularize one house cleaner per family as well as an unlimited number of babysitters on the condition that the presence of elderly or diabled persons who have need of their services has been certified. The denunciation (declaration of irregularity) must be presented within two months of the implemention of the new law.
Rejoining of family members: The extra-EU citizen, who has everything i order with respect to permissions, may ask permission to be joined by their spouse, by underage children, or by adult children at the expense of the of the citizen and on the condition that they are not able to provide for themselves.
IRREGULARS: The irregular (i.e. any person with documents but without permesso di soggiorno) shall be forcibly expelled by way of "accompaniment to the borders". He shall be physically and materially placed on an airplane or a ship which will bring him back to his place of origin.
CLANDESTINES: The clandestine (any person who does not even possess documents of identification) will be conducted to appropriately constructed Centers of temporay residence (the CPT's which I've already written about) for up to 60 days, during which his identity will be determined in order to repartriate him to his nation of origin. If his identity is not discovered, it is to be "intimated" to the clandestine that he should leave the country within three days..
DIGITAL FINGERPRINTS: all foreigners who ask for a "permesso di soggiorno" will be subject to digitalized fingerprinting, in order that he may be recognized if any documents have been falsified.
CRIME OF CLANDESTINE REENTRY: Any non-EU citizen who reenters Italia clandestinely after an expulsion, has commited an crime punishable by prison term.
You will also note that there is no explicit distinction between immigrants and refugees who ask for political asylum in the legislation.
It is an interesting exercise to compare many of these provisions to what is now becoming something of a trend in immigration legislation in many parts of Europe as a result of the extraordinary, disproporponiate panic aroused by the scare-mongering of politicians of the left and right in the wake of the bombings in Madrid and London.
We shall see if the majority of Italians buy the scare-mongering or if they prefer the more responsible approach of racial tolerance and openness endorsed by Prodi and the majority of the center-left.