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 improving immigration policies
"It's not possible to send immigrants back to their countries. We must find a different solution and help them here"
The mistreatment of LGBT+ refugees who try to escape their homeland because of their sexuality
Unfortunately, there are still countries that punish members of the LGBTQ+ because of their sexuality. Italian refugees who identify as LGBTQ+, immigration is seen as a way to escape persecution and be accepted for their sexuality.
Christianity emphasizes showing love and hospitality towards strangers
"I was a stranger and ye took me in" (ending of Matthew 25:35) This verse emphasizes the essence of the New Testament which is to express love and care for all people. The largely Catholic Italian population believes that the government must take measures to welcome immigrants and provide them opportunities.
Italy's immigration debate was about halting immigration
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.
Italian culture will be ruined by immigration
"If we allow immigrants to live among us, we’ll lose our identity"
Italy is left alone to shoulder the large amount of immigrants coming in
"The European Union is doing nothing to help us." Italy has been struggling to take in the large amount of immigration from other countries. It would be of some help if neighboring cities and countries would lessen their immigration laws and take in more immigrants.