Palermo: Fifty Expelled Migrants Wandering Aimlessly, No Money for the Trip


Alert from voluntary associations: “This system is creating
invisible people.”

250 North Africans, mainly from Morocco, who arrivedon board the Dattilo on Monday morning along with a further 798migrants,
after being left at the port for almost 30 hours, spent a second
night in the city, under the cold wind and rain with an
expulsion notice in hand. In law they now have seven days to
“voluntarily remove themselves”. The clock began from when they
entered Italy without any right to a form of protection. Among them
there are also 3 Libyans.

The majority of them managed to get the train to Rome this morning,
but another hundred are still near the central station looking for
money to buy tickets. “We don’t know what to do”, a young
Moroccan man says. “I don’t have anything with me, not even money
to buy food. I would to get to Rome and then move on from there to
another place. The past two days in Palermo have been a nightmare. We
waited at the port for 30 hours, and then we were left in the middle
of the street in the rain.”

Volunteers from some associations are also with them, who have
provided food, clothes and important information to those who do not
know how to leave Palermo. Many of them want to get to France and
Germany, where they already have contacts. “This system is creating
invisible people”, says Alberto Biondo from the Combonian Laic Missionaries, who follows the landing operations. “We think we
have a very safe system, but instead it’s a criminal system which
first kills people at sea and then makes them invisible, easy prey
for exploiters.”

The volunteers tried in vain to contact the Moroccan Consulate, and
in the end had to make to on their own. Along with the Combonian Laic Missionaries, Centro Astalli, Borderline Sicilia
and the Antiracist Forum were also present. “There were even
some families”, Biondo continues. “The women were sent to Rome
and their husbands left here at the station with an expulsion notice.
Who knows when they will manage to be reunited.”

Claudia Brunetto

Project “OpenEurope” – Oxfam Italia, Diaconia Valdese, Borderline Sicilia Onlus

Translation by Richard Braude