NEWSLETTER Migrantsicily – November 2012
- The emergency of “North African Emergency”: the collapse of Lampedusa, relentless arrivals and the refusals made by the reception system
- Yet another sinking: the mayor of Lampedusa challenges the European Union to put pressure on the Italian government
- Permits of Stay for the “North African Emergency”- the Practices of the Sicilian Police Headquarters
- Government Politics outside the Emergency: decree for a new phantom flux plus the promise of new CIEs (Immigration Detention Centres)
- Programmed events and the latest publications out in bookshops
The emergency of “North
African Emergency”: the collapse of Lampedusa, relentless arrivals and the
refusals made by the reception system
Last week, Save the Children spoke out (once again) against the inhumane
conditions in the Lampedusa CSPA (First Reception Centre). There are approximately
900 migrants in the Centre who have been there for weeks.
Those who have been there the
longest arrived on the island on 24th October.
response to the criticisms of the reception system, which have been voiced by
numerous organisations, the government is continuing to avoid the issue. It is hiding
behind the fact that the centre for minors and the other centres of emergency
reception are refusing to accept any more migrants until they are given the
certainty that they will receive funding for their ongoing projects which are
currently running thanks to funds from the “North African Emergency”.
In fact, on 31st December
2012, the programme which was set up by the Italian government in 2011 to deal
with the tide of emigration from north African countries, will run out. And,
exactly as has been seen before, the Italian government once again finds itself
unprepared to deal with the thousands of migrants who, particularly in Sicily,
will be abandoned to the streets due to a lack of funds by those running the
reception centres. And once again it will undoubtedly be easier to allocate
hundreds of thousands of euro in the name of “emergency” to make the
usual speculators happy. http://220.127.116.11/2012/10/21/who-is-speculating-about-what-will-happen-to-the-refugees-lespresso-have-carried-out-an-inquiry-into-the-managing-of-the-north-african-emergency/
another sinking: the mayor of Lampedusa challenges the European Union to put
pressure on the Italian government
While the centre of Contrada
Imbriacola is on the verge of financial decline, with 123 minors and around 10
newborns who for weeks now have been sleeping in the open, the mayor of
Lampedusa, following yet another sinking at sea, declared that there are no
more burial sites on the island’s cemetery.
Giusi Nicolini challenged the
European Union in an open letter, where she asked: “How large does the
cemetery on my island need to be?”
Permits of Stay for the “North
African Emergency”- the Practices of the Sicilian Police Headquarters
If there aren’t enough funds available for the
Reception of migrants, what does the government do? All it can with the usual
palliatives. With various notices (in pure Italian fashion) the government, rather
than decide on the concession de plano
for a permit of stay for the refugees who arrived in Italy during the North
African Emergency, as suggested by numerous associations, has instead opted for
an alternative solution which is proving to be somewhat wasteful.
It is wasteful, firstly, in terms of the use of the
public administration’s time and energy. Immigration offices are weighed down
by other duties and already have many burdensome responsibilities. Yet it is
also wasteful in terms of the patience of the current and future asylum seekers
(the 900 already on Lampedusa and however many will arrive in the following
days) who will see the possibility of being able to conclude the procedures of
recognition of international protection, within the legal period, fading
further and further away. In fact, following the notices issued by the
government, the territorial commissions have been given the job of re-examining
the asylum requests of the refugees who arrived in Italy last year, as a result
of the armed conflict in Lybia, who were denied asylum on their first
The situation gets more complicated when considering
that the regulations issued by the government are open to interpretation, which
in turn gives scope for variation on the way in which the practices are carried
out. In Sicily, as in the rest of Italy, each province registers different ways
of completing the application procedures which may vary from government
The immigration offices of Agrigento, Caltanissetta
and Messina are collecting the application forms to be re-examined of all the
migrants who arrived in Italy as a consequence of the war in Lybia who are
likely to receive a rejection from the Territorial Commission.
In Catania, the situation is different: only
applications from those migrants who are currently in Reception are being considered.
The migrants who are excluded from this process are trying to regain admission
into the various centres, such as Mineo. Alternatively they will have to wait
for the outcome of an inquiry sent to the Minister of the Interior thanks to
the official complaint lodged by several lawyers and employees who oppose such
a restrictive interpretation of the ministerial regulations.
The Palermo Police Headquarters remains rooted in
the conviction (we must ask ourselves again on what grounds such a conviction
is based) that the permit of stay on humanitarian grounds for refugees from
Lybia, is a privilege to be conceded only to those who, at the moment of
application are in specific migrant reception centres.
The Trapani Police Headquarters are currently fixing
appointments to formalise the applications for migrants who are in non
government run centres operating with Emergency funding. This means that those
within the Salina Grande Cara (Hosting Centre for Asylum Seekers) will have to
be considered at a later moment.
For the Immigration Office in Syracuse, application
queries have required proof that the subject entered Italy from Lybia in the
designated period (2011-2012). The office has therefore asked the Civil
Protection to provide this information. However, the Civil Protection have (for
which reason we are not sure but possibly as the result of a lack of funding?)
referred the problem onto the Ministry, who as of yet have issued no answer. Finally,
no cases have yet been registered in Ragusa.
We would like to thank the Sicilian lawyers
Annaloro, Campochiaro, Cordaro, Finocchiaro, Giacalone, Picciotto, Raneli,
Schinco and Trommino for the information they supplied for this article.
Government Politics outside
the Emergency: decree for a new phantom flux plus the promise of new CIEs
(Immigration Detention Centres)
The 16th November saw the
issuing of a new decree concerning a flux of migrants, which restricted entry
into Italy to autonomous workers only along with the conversion of some types
of permit of stay. It allowed for a total of 13,850 places. The channel of
legal entry is getting ever narrower, thus resulting in an increase in the
queues of illegal immigrants to make up the low cost workforce, which is open
to exploitation and blackmail, and will, before long, be forced to pass under
the axe of the next immigration amnesty. Given this government’s incapacity and
lack of will to rationally deal with the immigration situation, it is clear
that the political lines laid down by previous governments are still being
followed. In fact, just a few days ago, we learnt that the government are
planning to open a further two CIEs (Immigration Detention Centres) in Lecce
Programmed events and the
latest publications out in bookshops
would like to draw your attention to a convention on “Administrative
Detention and Forced Distancing following the Directive 2008/115/CE on
Repatriation” to be held in Piazza Bologni, Palermo on 14th December 2012.
The convention has been organised by the University of Palermo, Borderline
Europe and Borderline Sicilia Onlus as part of a European project financed by
social funds. http://siciliamigranti.blogspot.it/2012/12/convegnodetenzione-amministrativa-e.html
November, the latest instalment of the Paolo Cuttutta saga, entitled “The
show of borders. Lampedusa- from the production of the border to its
staging” will be available in all bookshops.
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