People hold signs reading "Welcoming is the right of migrants, and a necessity for everyone" during the 'Europe Without Walls' demonstration in Milan's San Babila Square. Credit: ANSA/MATTEO BAZZI
People hold signs reading "Welcoming is the right of migrants, and a necessity for everyone" during the 'Europe Without Walls' demonstration in Milan's San Babila Square. Credit: ANSA/MATTEO BAZZI

The City of Milan announced it will provide a registry for asylum seekers who are unable to register with the city registry due to exclusion by the country's new Salvini security decree. The announcement has been criticized by the center-right.

The City of Milan will implement a registry for asylum seekers as a tool to allow the city administration to "protect" those migrants who can no longer register with the official city registry as a result of the newly enacted Salvini security decree.

The announcement was made in committee at Palazzo Marino, Milan's city hall, by Milan Social Policies Councillor Pierfrancesco Majorino and Civic Services Councillor Roberta Cocco. The goal of the registry is to identify asylum seekers living in Milan and make this data available to all the relevant agencies (social security agency INPS, public health system ATS, health structures, schools) to facilitate access to services which the migrants have a right to. City services headquartered in Via Scaldasole will also offer legal consulting to those who need it.

'Support in respect of the law'

"We want to offer a support that also respects the law," Cocco said. Majorino called on the city prefecture to "not apply the part of the Salvini law related to stopping benefits for reception programs already underway and not put people out on the street".

Figures from Palazzo Marino show that 103 migrants have already been refused registry in the city's civil database. To mitigate the effect of the security decree, the City of Milan will implement a civic integration network, in collaboration with the third sector, with the goal of intercepting those living on the streets after having lost their right to live in reception centers due to the change in the country's immigration law.

Mayor Sala says interest is in protecting people

"What interests us is protecting these people," Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala said on the initiative. "We're talking about asylum seekers, a minimum of protection, so that if they go to the emergency room there aren't many problems." 

"We need to do it quickly, so with Councillor Majorino we were talking about the possibility of making an experimental registry and then, once it's up and running, we will find ways to make it more concrete and long-lasting," he added.

Sala said the registry could also be a tool to help asylum seekers have fewer problems if they find a job. "I believe that the Milanese would be very happy if there was a time of integration through work," said Sala.

The League and Forza Italia parties have criticized the city's move. League leader in Milan, Alessandro Morelli, said Majorino and the Democratic Party (PD) are putting the City of Milan "in the condition of being the first administration to be accused of facilitating illegal immigration." His Forza Italia counterpart, Fabrizio De Pasquale, said the city registry shouldn't be used "for propaganda," and said repatriation centers and expulsion procedures should be used instead.

 

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