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What was Italy's Immigration Debate in 2018 about? Show more Show less
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In 2016, over 180,000 migrants reached Italy by irregular means. During the first ten months of 2018, this number had dropped to under 21,000. Although the number of unauthorized immigrants in Italy has been decreasing over the last decade, racial tensions have increased after a mix of anti-immigrant campaigns, fake news and horrific tragedies. As a result, “immigration” is the nation’s most discussed issue. There are currently over 5 million regular immigrants in Italy. The IDOS research centre estimated that the number of unauthorized immigrants would be about 500.000. Many of them are asylum seekers whose claim to international protection was denied. Some can’t go back to their country due to bureaucratic problems, some others receive the "foglio di via" (expulsion paper) but the authorities fail to make sure that they actually leave the nation. What do Italians think about it?

Italy's immigration debate was about halting immigration Show more Show less

This position holds that the Italian national identity won’t be preserved if immigrants are allowed to live in Italy and integrate with the local communities and that some cultures cannot possibly live together under the same laws.
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Italian culture will be ruined by immigration

"If we allow immigrants to live among us, we’ll lose our identity"
Discriminatory Offensive Racism


This argument is supported by various extreme-right and neo-fascist parties

The Argument

Italy's national identity depends on the preservation of its traditions and life-style. If Italians allow immigrants to live among them, they’ll be contaminated by foreign cultures and will turn into a mass of confused people without a strong identity, easy to be dominated by those who hold the economic power.

Counter arguments

Culture is a constantly-changing unicum, not a given item that must be passively took on. The authors of this argument also fail to remember that Italy doesn't have a fixed culture or identity - it's the result of many coexisting cultures and subcultures. Besides, it's not possible to have no identity. Humans are constantly shaped by the cultures and subcultures they inhabit. It’s good to preserve the memory of Italian traditions, but this doesn’t mean that those traditions must be continued, especially those in direct contrast with human rights (see the problem of traditional families against LGBT+ rights) or animal rights (Italy has a tradition of bullfighting, but nobody does that anymore). Also, how can anybody be sure that his/her grandparents' old life-style is better than others?



The co-existance of different cultures will destroy everyone's identity.

Rejecting the premises

The Italian language and culture already are the result of a co-existance of cultures, and identity is a constant process - it can't be "destroyed".


This page was last edited on Monday, 26 Oct 2020 at 15:02 UTC

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