Posted on April 23, 2023

Italy Narrows Asylum Rights in New Clampdown on Immigration

Crispian Balmer, Reuters, April 20, 2023

Italy’s nationalist government approved a bill in the upper house of parliament on Thursday that aims to reduce the number of migrants who can claim some form of asylum and curb integration efforts.

The bill, which still needs the approval of the lower house to become law, was drawn up after a shipwreck off southern Italy in February that killed more than 90 migrants.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has said the legislation, which includes tougher jail terms for human smugglers, is intended to dissuade people from putting their trust in traffickers and trying to reach Italy illegally.


Among the most contested measures is a decision to eliminate “special protection” residency permits that authorities can offer migrants who don’t qualify for asylum, but who face humanitarian risks back home, or have family ties in Italy.

The government said the system was being abused {snip}

The bill also halts state-funded Italian language courses and eliminates legal advice services for migrants hosted in official reception centres.