For a new policy on asylum and migration

The proposal document of ASGI (Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione)

“The innovations introduced in recent years in the management of migration policies have reconfigured the regulatory framework of reference, worsening the quality of life and the legal status of foreign citizens. The inability of public institutions and politics to understand the reality of migration that has characterized Italy for over 40 years and the irrational management of the phenomenon (starting from the meeting at a distance of the supply and demand for labor, through the unreasonable system of decrees flows, which in fact have not existed for several years) have produced devastating effects in society, first and foremost, on foreigners, legitimizing a climate of social hostility (if not of real hatred) useful only to politics and which has distanced foreign citizens from the constitutional framework within which their condition was to be determined.”

With these words begins the document that ASGI (Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione), a think tank of jurists dealing with the issue of migration from the point of view of law and not of politics and propaganda, released at the end of November.

In the face of this situation, the legal experts launched a ten-point document which aims, as the text states, to generate “a clear discontinuity with respect to the regulatory management of migration policies in recent years” to “re-establish a sufficient level of respect for the right to international protection, the inescapable foundation of Italian and European democracy”.

 The ten points proposed to the Italian and European political authorities are:

  • Immediate annulment of the Memorandum of Understanding with Libya, signed in 2017 by the Italian government, and the consequent repeal of Decreto Legge No. 84 of July 10, 2018, which ceded and financed Italian naval units in support of Libyan organs and the immediate and total emergency evacuation of all foreigners deserving of protection outside Libya in safe places preferably European.
  • Overcoming the policies of outsourcing the right to asylum and the border promoted by Italy and the European Union – with increasing commitment from 2016 – also through the signing of international agreements with third countries, which are assured the provision of funds, technological and military equipment and a more general political legitimacy in exchange for a control – often violent and indiscriminate – of their borders, which is marking the end of the right to international protection.
  • Immediate abandonment of the hotspot approach, already adopted in December 2015 without any legal basis, at the illegitimate request of the European Commission.
  • Immediate repeal of Article 1 of Law 132/18, called Decreto Salvini, which eliminates the general clause of humanitarian protection, which allowed Italy to meet its constitutional and international obligations in recognizing already administratively a form of protection to foreign citizens in respect of their fundamental rights.
  • Immediate repeal of Article 3 of Law 132/18, called Decreto Salvini, which introduces a complex law that allows asylum seekers to be detained for up to six months for the sole purpose of identifying them (in open contrast with constitutional guarantees) and subjecting their asylum application to accelerated and border procedures, which in fact deprive foreign citizens of the real opportunity to exercise their right to apply for international protection and empty the right to asylum, making it a mere symbolic simulacrum.
  • Repeal of Chapter II of Law 46/17, called Decreto Orlando-Minniti, which downgrades the right of defense of the asylum seeker in case of rejection of the application for international protection, repealing the second level of judgment, providing for the possibility of not appearing before the court and structuring a special process of service of documents that in practice is preventing many foreign nationals to access the real procedural guarantees, that a democratic state must ensure in a real and effective way, not just formal, to all persons on the national territory. In short, the rules of procedure for international protection need to be reviewed.
  • Repeal of Articles 12 and 13 of Law 132/18, called Decreto Salvini, by which asylum seekers are deprived of the possibility of being received in a specialized structure (ex Sprar) and of being registered in the city registry office.
  • Repeal of the following art. 1e of Law 77/2019, called Decreto Sicurezza bis Salvini, which grants special powers to the Ministry of the Interior to limit or prohibit the entry, transit or parking in territorial waters of ships engaged in maritime rescue operations of foreign persons in dangerous conditions.
  • Rapid introduction of a regularization mechanism that allows foreign citizens already present in Italy to obtain a residence permit, including for job search, thus significantly reducing the large pool of people deprived of the residence permit by government policies that, from the end of 2015, have increased the number of foreign citizens in conditions of greatest vulnerability.
  • Immediate restoration of the ordinary quotas of entry for work, in decrees flows quantitatively adequate and rapid introduction of a mechanism of entry on the national territory for job search.

These measures, which are required of the Italian legal system, are in reality a road map for all European institutions, if we want to work towards a clear and coherent mechanism of humanitarian protection and not towards the dizzying increase in the army of the invisible.


by Christian Elia