Prolonging the presence of immigrants in Italian detention centers “is of no use, because 18 months are not necessary to carry out the necessary procedures,” says the international organization.
The extension to 18 months of the detention time of irregular migrants arriving in Italy, a measure recently approved by the Italian government, is “completely useless”, said the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
“Detention for 18 months was already implemented 10 years ago in Italy and was useless,” said IOM spokesperson for the Central Mediterranean, Flavio di Giacomo, quoted by the Spanish news agency Efe.
The Italian Government, headed by far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, approved this Monday the extension of the time during which immigrants must be detained to process their documents, from 135 days to 18 months, the maximum period allowed by the European Union (EU). ).
The executive also decided to open more repatriation centers, after what he considered a new migration crisis due to the arrival on the island of Lampedusa (south) of more than 10,000 people in three days.
“Prolonging the presence of migrants in these centers does not lead to anything, because 18 months are not needed to carry out the necessary procedures. If there is a will, it will be done almost immediately, if there is no will and cooperation from the embassies of the countries of origin, it will not be done even in four years,” explained Flavio di Giacomo.
“This is a very costly measure for the State coffers and does not produce any practical effect,” he added.
Since the beginning of this year, around 130,000 migrants have landed in Italy, more than double the arrivals recorded in the same period last year (68,000) and triple compared to 2021 (43,000), according to data updated today. by the Italian Ministry of the Interior.
According to the IOM spokesperson, “the number of arrivals is not that high”, since it is “well below the 515,000 who arrived in Italy in 2015/2016 and does not even compare with the almost 1.8 million who arrived to Greece in 2015”.
For Flavio di Giacomo, “the big difference compared to 2016 is that, [nesse ano]”Only 8% went to Lampedusa”, compared to 70% this year, which means that “you cannot speak of an emergency in Italy or in Europe in numerical terms”, but in logistical terms, because Lampedusa is an island very small.
The only solution, he argued, is to “create a mechanism that allows people to be rescued in large ships to take them to Sicily,” that is, to mainland Italy, and, “on a political level, press for the rights of immigrants. respected in Tunisia and Libya”, where most of the people come from.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, visited the island of Lampedusa this Sunday, together with the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni.
After a week in which around 10,000 migrants arrived in Lampedusa in three days, the prime minister warned that the increase in migrant arrivals represents “unsustainable pressure” on Italy.
Von der Leyen presented an action plan for Lampedusa that admits a new European Union naval mission in the Mediterranean, but Italy asked for NATO and the United Nations to intervene.