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Cosmopolitan Commentary – Italy’s anti-migrant bill

The Italian government is cracking down on immigrants with a new bill that kicks key forms of protection for immigrants right out the window. With pressure mounting over the past years of the huge influx of refugees arriving in Europe, they have been the subject of controversy. Two main roles in this recent development are the cabinet and the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, who are approving this bill, and thus deciding the fate of immigrants in Italy. However, the main person to focus on is Matteo Salvini.

Matteo Salvini, the far-right Minister of the Interior and leader of the Northern League political party, drafted the bill which suspends the refugee application process of those who are considered dangerous or those convicted of a crime. Salvini claims that the purpose is for the safety of Italy, and that it would strengthen efforts against the mafia and human traffickers. Although this might seem appealing for Italians (making a big assumption that none of their loved ones are immigrants) it is important to look deeper into the bill.

This decree ends humanitarian protection, which basically means that it would end the protection of immigrants not eligible for refugee status who are additionally unable to return to their home country. This bill instead replaces it with special permits that will limit eligibility to people such as natural disaster victims or those with serious illnesses. Salvini basically had the goal of keeping migrants who merely wanted to escape war in their own country. However, there does seem to be some flaws in Salvini’s thinking.

Logically, immigrants may stop trying to obtain this protection due to its specific requirements, which leads to them not even making the attempt. But, although by law they should go back to their home country, that is in many cases simply impractical. Despite this blatant shortcoming in the bill, all that matters to Salvini is to have no refugees at all in Italy, no matter what it takes.

Honestly, I do see where Matteo Salvini is coming from with this bill; he wants to protect his country. But, while this may seem like “patriotism”, it is in fact toxic nationalism that heavily impacts those in need. Because of the plethora of dangerous wars around the globe, such world leaders should make it a priority to help each other, or we will soon experience the tragic loss of entire societies and cultures. As a solution, perhaps there should be more thorough screening of immigrants rather than these hurtful impractical goals. Personally, I find that Salvini is not acting for the overall well-being of the people that have been contributing positively to Italian society for centuries. As a final thought, in this current day and age, it is not wise to isolate yourself from the world, since immigrants make for a more vibrant and inclusive culture overall, as we can see here in America.


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