Legalisation, “I Was A Stranger” Campaign: Any Agreement To Be Shouldered Cannot Be Watered Down

We are once again witnessing what would simply be an embarrassing and ridiculous spectacle, were it not for the fact that at stake is the fate of hundreds of thousands of people already living in Italy who have been consigned to invisibility.  These are people who have to bear the price which living here without documents inevitably carries: the impossibility of having an employment contract, and therefore no rights and inevitable exploitation; the impossibility of having a house or being able to provide for one’s own family and therefore marginalization; the impossibility of being able to access the healthcare system and, therefore, fragile health, with increased risk for oneself and for others, especially at this time of pandemic.

This is what we are talking about when we ask for legislation which “regularizes”: giving these people the chance to live and work legally, guaranteeing rights and safeguards for work, health and benefits, for everything.  And bringing what are, right now, precious new tax receipts.  For precisely these reasons, it is not acceptable to be thinking about temporary permits, which would barely dent the phenomenon of “irregularity”: government intervention is not only necessary but, today more than ever, must be as wide as possible, with renewable permits for at least six months applying to all employment sectors, to guarantee all the opportunity to live legally and with dignity in our country.

We promoters of the “Erostraniero“ (“I Was A Stranger”) campaign have been making this request for a long time now, having submitted a people’s draft law to the Chamber at the end of 2017.  Important work was done on this in the Chamber last year in a debate between experts and representatives of various enterprises, industry and institutions working on migration.

We are therefore appealing to the Prime Minister to put forward a measure which is truly effective, pragmatic and long-term, putting internal political clashes to one side and instead looking to the good of the country.