A barber of foreign origin in Milan | Photo: ARCHIVE ANSA / DANIEL DAL ZENNARO
A barber of foreign origin in Milan | Photo: ARCHIVE ANSA / DANIEL DAL ZENNARO

Over 20 migrants' rights organizations have sent a letter to the Italian government to ask for the withdrawal of a regulation which they claim "hinders the regularization" of migrants, "harming those who want to emerge from invisibility."

A group of over 20 migrants' rights groups has sent a letter to Italian Premier Mario Draghi and members of his government denouncing that a recent regulation approved on April 21 will hinder the regularization of migrants, penalizing those who want to become legal residents.

"Despite the strong delay with which applications for regularization are proceeding and the gravity of the situation that has ensued, the ministry of interior, with a circular (regulation) released on April 21, 2021, instead of favoring the emersion of over 200,000 people who have started the procedure, is creating new and further obstacles, penalizing once again those who want to emerge from invisibility," the organizations said on April 29.

The letter was sent to Premier Mario Draghi and the ministries of interior, health, labor and agriculture by over 20 organizations including thee Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI), Amnesty International Italia, Oxfam Italian, ActionAid, the Astalli Center, Intersos, Doctors for Human Rights (MEDU) and the Community of Sant'Egidio.

The details of the regulation

Explaining the details of the new regulation, the organizations said that, "according to the interior ministry, if a short-term job contract ends while the regularization procedure is ongoing, it is not be possible to obtain a stay permit while waiting for another job."

The ministry's document notes that the procedure can continue only if "the employer expresses the intention of extending the previous contract, or of hiring the worker again."

However, "if the employer has no intention of prolonging the (work) relationship, or hiring the worker again", then it is "not possible to release a stay permit to wait for employment," the organizations said of the new regulation.

The rights' groups went on to say that such measures "are illegitimate because the existing legislation states that, in the event that a job is lost, even in case of seasonal contracts, a permit to await for employment must be issued, thanks to which a person can regularly look for another job."

In particular, the organizations said that the new indications "are illogical" because they go against the legislator's aim to promote the regularization of foreign citizens.

Risks for regularization

"The regularization constitutes -- according to indications of the law that provides for it -- the tool to guarantee the regularity of permanence and an adequate healthcare standard to thousands of people who have been living and working in Italy for a long time, and must not become a source of political dispute at the expense of their lives," recalled the associations.

They warned that, if they are not immediately withdrawn, these indications "risk to further compromise the already fragile implementation of legislation of a special nature regarding the regularization/emersion of the juridical situation of foreign workers and of their jobs."

For this reason, the associations that signed the letter asked for the regulation to be immediately revoked.

They asked authorities to provide "indications to police headquarters clarifying that, in case of the termination of a job contract thanks to which a regularization application was filed, a permit to await for employment should be released."

This should occur, the organizations said, "unless it is proven that the application was presented instrumentally for the release of a stay permit and if there are no limits to find a new job with a different employer."


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