Laura Mowat, Express, August 23, 2017
The Pope has been attacked for his “unheard meddling in Italian politics” after he called babies born in the country to migrant parents to be awarded Italian nationality.
Matteo Salvini, leader of the eurosceptic Lega Nord party told the Pope should instead house migrant families in the Vatican.
There are growing calls from the left to allow migrants ‘Ius Soli’ – roughly translated as birthright citizenship.
Supporters believe that the new law would help integration in Italy.
Mr Salvini said: “If the Pope wants to apply ‘ius soli’ in the Vatican city, go ahead and do it, but Italy can’t receive everyone.”
Tony Iwobi, who is responsible for the Department of Security and Immigration of Lega Nord, said it was “a serious and unheard meddling of Pope Francis in Italian politics. With this yes to ius soli and ius culturae”.
Pope Francis has said that “every foreigner who knocks at our door is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed or rejected foreigners.”
The Pope’s theme for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees in January is to “host, protect, promote and integrate migrants and refugees”.
Member of the Senate of Italy, Roberto Calderoli, said the Pope is “wrong to invoke citizenship for all those people who still have to prove they want to integrate, adapt to our laws and our way of life.”
Mr Calderoli said he was concerned that this change of citizenship would give away Italian citizenship to over two million immigrants.
He claimed that Italy is the country that grants the most citizenships in Europe at 200,000 each year.
An army of migrants have arrived in Italy in the last few years as they flee Africa and the Middle East.
It has been revealed that almost 200,000 migrants arrived in 2016 to Italy.