CRITICS: Editorial D&S 7(3)

terwal terwal at
Tue Apr 16 20:11:27 UTC 1996

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Date: Sun, 14 Apr 1996 14:40:03 -0600 (CST)
From: "terwal" <terwal at>
Subject: RE: CRITICS: Editorial D&S 7(3)

Dear Teun

To support your claim that 'these events are not isolated' further, this
month the Italian interim government of ex-prime minister Dini has refused
to extend the deadlines for the examination of illegal immigrants' request
to obtain legal status.  Legal status could be obtained by means of
employer's declaration and payment of six months pension and social
security contributions to the state (often paid by the immigrants
themselves). This measure passed thanks to proposals of the Social
Democrats (PdS), who used this to soften the government's decision to speed
up expulsion procedures for illegal and in particular criminal aliens. It
served in other words a sort of 'pre-selection' between 'good' immigrant
workers - who will be allowed to stay - and 'bad' illegal immigrants - who
need to be expelled. Many 'illegal aliens' did not manage to present
requests in time, because the police were not able to handle the huge
amounts of requests. Moreover, not all illegal aliens were able to actually
submit such a request, as many Italian employers refuse to report illegal
employment and because self-employed immigrants were not part of this
measure. As a result, now this group of illegal immigrants risks police
checks and subsequent expulsion. Even though it may be expected that the
efficiency of the Italian police in this is limited, this measure has
created a deterioration of the already precarious and insecure position of
immigrants in Italian society. The attitude of the Italian political elite
(at least at national level) is one of silence:  this is not an issue to
merit any political attention, and even too 'dangerous' a topic for the
national extreme Right (Alleanza Nazionale) in this pre-electoral period.

Jessika ter Wal <terwal at>
European University Institute
Department Social and Political Sciences
Florence, Italy

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