arrivals and the deaths nobody wants to talk about continue
• The “black holes” of the immigration policies are paid by those without
• The new decisions of the European Commission: the urgent need to decide on
which side to stay
• The parliamentary commission on Sicilian CARA and CIE: the centre in Mineo
not compatible with human dignity
• Observatory on racism and xenophobia: aggression to a Senegalese young man in
THE ARRIVALS AND THE DEATHS NOBODY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT CONTINUE
Alone during the last weekend of may around 3600 migrants arrived in Lampedusa
and in the Sicilian ports of Trapani, Palermo, Porto Empedocle, Augusta,
Catania e Pozzallo. Among them also 17 dead bodies. After the recent decision
of the European Commission, we wonder what those who are forced to escape shall
Who arrives in Italy with the hope of finding democracy and the respect of
human dignity, finds himself/herself alone even in the moment of death. Beyond
the victims of the disasters at sea, more and more numerous, remembered only in
the aftermath of the tragedy, there are also several migrants who daily die in
our country, invisible to the majority. The hypocrisy of those rushing in
calling the migrants “brothers” is despicable, when they then prefer to forget
in haste, so that they do not understand the real reasons of their escape, the
current state of things and our part of responsibility as world citizens.
Among the many “invisible deaths” there is also the young man from Pakistan, who
died after being run over while on his bike, on the street heading to the CARA
in Pian di Lago. To the remembrance for his death there was not a single
representative of the institutions, which are unconcerned of their own
responsibilities, in a system which places the centres in isolated areas,
connected only by run-down roads. The latest example of discrimination between
first and second class people by those who seem not to strive at all for the
rights and integration of the new arrivals.
The use of double standards also seems to drive the debate on the rescue of the
wreck and the corpses of the victims of the enormous shipwreck from April 18th.
For this reason several association – among which Borderline Sicily – make a
plea: to authorise the relatives to commemorate their beloved ones and give
them an adequate burial; at the same time to retrace the dynamic of the
shipwreck and denounce the organisators of this death journey.
THE “BLACK HOLES” OF THE IMMIGRATION POLICIES ARE PAID BY THOSE WITHOUT
The system gives the cold shoulder to the deaths at sea, while it tries to
reorganise the system of first reception in a very precarious way. The number
of transfers of migrants arrived in other Italian regions increases and the
prefectures try to be more transparent in appointing the management of the
centres. What happens is that new cooperatives enter into the system for
managing the welcome structures, though without having any experience and
limited competences in the field of immigration, while the new territorial
commissions begin working with inexcusable delay and extremely slow processes.
All this to the disadvantages of the migrants who, abandoned in a limbo without
the chance of building their own future, become more and more attractive for
the illegal market.
The inconveniences due to the shortage of funding and the delay in the
reimbursements force city administrations and welcome centres to drastic cuts
in theirs services. Many operators have not received their salaries in
months, which obviously has consequences on the quality of theirs
services, while migrants very often do not even manage to get the pocket money
foreseen by law. A chain effect which sees huge economic interests at play and
leaves the refugees without any alternative and forces them to pay the highest
The situation of those who aim at protecting the right and wellbeing of the
migrants is very different. The cooperative Don Bosco 2000, managing one Cas/Sprar
in Armerina Square in the province of Enna decides as a matter of fact of
levelling up the quality of the services foreseen for its guests, aiming at
their integration in the neighbouring territory. Among all these difficulties,
due to inertia and the bureaucracy of the system, it is possible and it must be
aimed at a dignified first assistance and at facilitating the full autonomy of
those who struggle to start a new life.
THE NEW DECISIONS OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION: THE URGENT NEED TO DECIDE ON
WHICH SIDE TO STAY
The new decisions of the European Commission aim at the reinforcement of
Frontex and at the redistribution of the migrants by establishing very
questionable quotes and criteria. The promises of reviewing the Dublin System
remain only vague, while those running away continue their journey. Too many
among us pay very little attention to the inhuman conditions for escaping also
through Europe and often for denouncing the deficit European policies, while
forgetting the heavy responsibilities of the Italian “welcome machine”.
Some Member of the European Parliament have submitted a parliamentary question
in reference to the episodes from last April involving migrants from the
CPSA in Pozzallo, forced to provide their fingerprints with the use of force
and electricity. An important gesture to shed light over a worrying story,
which shows how inadequate the Dublin System is and how often its application
degenerates into episodes of structural or explicit violence.
Nevertheless the first answer to all this is the opening of a new Frontex
headquarter in Catania. This action shows the will of locking up and
militarising Sicily and Fortress Europe, investing precious funds in a city
like Catania where at the same time the resources provided for the integration
of migrants continue to diminish. The call of some associations for not
forgetting the necessity of a change in the international migratory policies
and the urgency for the creation of a European right to asylum.
THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION ON CARA AND CIE IN SICILY: THE CENTRE IN MINEO
INCOMPATIBLE WITH HUMAN DIGNITY
The parliamentary commission on Cara and Cie lands in Sicily and starts by
visiting the Cara in Mineo, the biggest in Europe. Exactly in Mineo, in the
occasion of the celebration of the first of May, a group of antiracists has
organised a meeting with some migrants, not far from the Centre. The diffidence
of the refugees and their hesitance in speaking testify the difficulty of
uncovering a system of blackmailing and exploitation connected to the life conditions
in the Cara, which the local media often tend to ignore.
In their question time in front of the parliamentary commission, the
representatives of MEDU (Doctors for Human Rights), who have been working in
the centre of Mineo for months, present a report which highlights how the
organisation and the exploitation of the camp produce lethal consequences for
the life of the migrants. In a centre with more than 4.000 migrants, confronted
with the 2.000 initially foreseen, those who find themselves in vulnerable
conditions cannot be adequately assisted. The omitted emission of documents and
the consequent missing registration into the national health system, the
distance from every local village or city and the necessity of queuing very
long lines for anything, these are some of the factors which affect the
psychophysical conditions of the migrants as soon as they enter the centre.
Together with the parliamentary commission, there was also the Member of
Parliament Erasmo Palazzotto (SEL-Party), who denounces a situation of complete
inadequacy inside the Cara and asks a full and factual transparency in the
administrative management of the centre.
The Sicilian section of the ASGI (Association for juridical studies on
immigration) sends a letter to the local and national institutions asking for a
review of all critical points and omissions the Cara presents, and also the
reintroduction of the rule of law in the management and security of the hosted
migrants. It suggests the return to a model of diffused assistance in small
numbers, which follows the uniform national guidelines and which shall be a
warranty of wellbeing and the possibility of integration for the migrants.
OBSERVATORY ON RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA:AGGRESSION TO A
SENEGALESE YOUNGSTER IN SCORDIA
In Scordia (Province of Catania) a Senegalese man currently hosted at the local
Sprar has been stubbed by unknown persons outside a night club, resulting in a
scar on his face and 19 stitches. At the origin of the attack there was
allegedly the request of money from the aggressors, in a blatantly climate of
xenofobia and social tear, where discomforts and frustration are often lavished
on the most vulnerable ones.
Translation: Marco Baldan