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(en) Italy: Alternativa Libertaria, Dec.04: A short memory (it)

From Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici <internazionale@fdca.it>
Date Thu, 9 Dec 2004 07:22:09 +0100 (CET)

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Of all the objectives which go to make up the platform of demands of the
anti-racist demonstration of 4th December, the main one is the demand to repeal
the Bossi-Fini Law. Just as long as we don't go back to its predecessor, the
Turco-Napolitano Law, and the "culture" which inspired it... In fact, though
the present centre-right government has worsened the conditions of millions of
migrants with the introduction of laws which reduce their social guarantees,
the law is based more or less on that passed by the previous centre-left
government and is part of the process of creating Fortress Europe and of the
idea, common to the dominant political culture which has marked the development
of Europe from Schengen to Amsterdam, that uncontrolled, illegal immigration is
a threat to public order and the safety of Europe's citizens.

On 27th March 1998, the Turco-Napolitano Law (Law No.40/1998) came into effect,
substituting the previous immgration law (the Martelli Law) and bringing Italy
into line with the Schengen guidelines. And in fact, on 31st March, the
transition period for Italy's entrance into the Schengen area came to an end.

The key element of Law No.40/1998 is the regulation of the levels of
immigration on the basis of demand from the jobs market. Once a year, quotas
for legal immigration to Italy are established by means of a decree from the
Prime Minister. And as far as illegal immigration is concerned, this law is by
no means soft. It provides for arrest of between 2 and 6 months and forced
repatriation under guard for those who have illegaly entered the country more
than once. It also set up the infamous "Temporary Stay Centres" (CPT) where
foreigners are held before being expelled.

The Bossi-Fini Law is based on the Turco-Napolitano Law though it introduces a
number of changes and restrictions. Its principal novelty is to introduce the
"work permit contract" which binds migrant workers to their employers (work
permits are valid only for the duration of job contracts).

This change in effect means that immigrants have a right to exist only within
the job market. The borderline between legal and illegal is so fine that for a
migrant to lose his or her job automatically means that they become illegal.

The other features of the law are essentially restrictions of the old
Turco-Napolitano Law, and concern:

* Residency permit: Legal immigrants can request one only after 6 years of
residence (it was 5 under the previous law).

* Re-uniting families: This is limited to spouses, under-age children and
parents of an only child (under Turco-Napolitano it included relatives up to
three generations)

* Sponsors: Under the new bill, individual citizens can no longer act as
guarantors, only companies and private associations.

* Expulsion: Expulsion is immediate, except for foreigners whose identity
cannot be ascertained, who are held in Temporary Stay Centres for up to 60 days
on the request of local police chiefs (under the old law it was 30 days).
Anyone who is expelled and re-enters the country illegally can be arrested and
held for a period of between 6 and 12 months (2 to 6 months under the old law)
and are then expelled. If they do not leave the country or re-enter illegally,
they can be imprisoned for between 1 and 4 years.

* Appeals: Illegal immigrants can only appeal against decisions from abroad.

* Right of asylum: Further limitations to the status of political refugee are
introduced, making it almost impossible...

* Social insurance: Immigrants who leave Italy for good are no longer entitled
to receive rebates of social insurance contributions which they have paid.

Opposition to the racist Bossi-Fini Law must not blind us to the
responsibilities of the centre-left which introduced many discriminatory and
security-obsessed policies with the aim of controlling the flow of immigration
and generally making jobs less stable and more flexible.

We therefore reject any special legislation which aims at dividing workers into
1st class and 2nd class.


Alternativa Libertaria - December 2004
online news-sheet of the FdCA

Download it in PDF format from:

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