On the 25th of February, the association Borderline Sicilia took part in the press conference at the National Press Federation in Rome which was organized by the campaign LasciateCIEntrare* in order to present the annual report called “The reception of refugees: the real emergency”. During the press conference, some representatives of the campaign, of the tertiary sector and some of the independent information organisations that investigate in the context of immigration, rose to speak.
The context that has been presented regarding reception, deportation and detention is alarming. All contributions at the conference revolved around the serious gaps in the governmental asylum system (and around the political intentions and economic speculations that come with it), around the systematic violations of the identification and expulsion system and around the fact of forced deportations. The consequences of the hotspots and the illegality in these centres were also emphasized: the total lack of legal grounds and legislative procedures and the violations represented by the hotspot system in terms of fundamental rights and European and international asylum law.
During the meeting there was also a contribution from a small delegation of 181 Eritrean asylum seekers who are in the “relocation” program of the CARA* of Castelnuovo di Porto and have already been waiting for months (some since last November) to be relocated. All of them signed a letter in which they require that such transfers are initiated as early as possible. This is to be done by means of criteria that take into account family reunifications at the destinations which they are entitled to by law.
The contribution of Borderline Sicilia at the public event was dedicated to the testimonies that we have gathered from the ones affected by consequences of delayed deportations in their lives and in the protection system. Also, parts of our contribution dealt with the practices implemented to identify refugees in the context of the militarised reception system of the hotspot approach. Furthermore, we have talked about the current situation in the province of Messina, where conditions prevail and therefore needs more attention than ever, even with regard to the notification of the activation of the hotspots in the former barracks of Bisconte.
The report of the campaign LasciateCIEntrare “The reception: the real emergency” was edited by Yasmine Accardo and Gabriella Guido. It is composed of a first part in which the work of the monitoring of the campaign in the Italian asylum system is contextualized. The report also includes a legal textual deepening of the hotspot system and an analysis of the developments in the EU policies written by Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo and Stefano Galieni. The second part of the dossier contains the reports that were written from time to time with the delegations of the campaign who visited CIE*, CARA*, CAS* and informal centres. The last part contains the reports sent to the prefect and an appeal for worthy housing from to the migrants living in the tent city of Bari.
Such a report is the result of extensive work which is the outcome of gathering information at national level and is based on networking with local associations. The report proves to be an important document to criticize the current system and is also a valuable tool for analysing and reflecting. The report is dedicated to those who suffer from the effects of the asylum system supported by the logic of the state of emergency and the economic speculation and based on political improvisation, illegitimate practices and the systematic human rights violations. We agree with and want to publish the following dedication:
“We want to dedicate this report to those migrants who died in the CIE*, to those who are still imprisoned and those who were deported due to discriminatory and still applicable laws; to the migrants who are treated badly and left alone in the reception centres, those who are exploited in agriculture and eke out a living in irregular employment that is useful to a certain local and national “economy”.
And we would also like to dedicate this work to the journalists who still perceive their job as “serving” information and criticism and who do not run after “headlines on the front page”.
We dedicate this work, which hopefully will continue, to the countless activists and organisations that have worked with us and who play an important role in their regions to restore human rights, civil rights and social rights that are too often forgotten by the institutions.”
Editorial office Borderline Sicilia
*CARA: Hosting Centre for Asylum Seekers
*CIE: Centro di Identificazione ed Espulsione: Immigration Detention and Deportation Centre
*CAS: Centro di accoglienza straordinaria: Extraordinary Reception Centre
Translated by Aylin Satmaz