January 9, 2019

Mayors of Three Large Italian Cities Refused to Obey Anti-Immigration Law

The mayors of three large Italian cities are refusing to obey the contradictory anti-immigration law passed on the initiative of the Interior Minister Matteo Salvini considering it unconstitutional, AFP reports. 

On Thursday, Mr. Salvini demanded the resignation of the mayors of Florence, Palermo and Naples. The last one escalated the conflict by accepting migrants rejected by Italy and stuck in the sea. 

“This law incites criminality, rather than fighting or preventing it. It violates human rights. There are thousands, tens of thousands of people who legally reside here in Italy, who pay their taxes, who pay into pensions, and in a couple of weeks or months they will become... illegal,” Palermo mayor Leoluca Orlando said. 

The new tough anti-immigration law passed by the Parliament of Italy on November 28 simplifies the deportation of newcomers and restricts residence permits in the country, which has become a main gateway for migrants crossing the Mediterranean. 

It also cancels humanitarian residence permits issued to people from risk groups, families or single women with children. 

Florence’s mayor Dario Nardella claimed that his city would “not bow to” the law that “expels asylum-seekers and, without repatriating them, throws them out onto the street.” 

The mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris declared that some parts of the law are unconstitutional, “such as those on the right to asylum, will under no circumstances be enforced.” 

Later he proposed to accept 32 migrants blocked in the sea after they were rescued by the NGO’s ship.