A group of migrants and asylum seekers at the border town of Ventimiglia, 5 August 2016 | Photo: ANSA / FABRIZIO TENERELLI
A group of migrants and asylum seekers at the border town of Ventimiglia, 5 August 2016 | Photo: ANSA / FABRIZIO TENERELLI

The right-wing League party in Italy is proposing the creation of a detention and repatriation center in Ventimiglia, on the border with France, to solve "the problem of migratory flows on the Italian-French border."

Flavio Di Muro, a member of parliament with the right-wing League party in Italy, announced the presentation of a formal request to Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese for the creation of a detention center for repatriation in Ventimiglia to solve what he called the problem of migrant flows at the Italy-France border.

"My idea is that Ventimiglia can be the ideal place," Di Muro said. "There are already ten facilities of this kind in Italy. The idea is to detain not only undocumented migrants, but also those in a pending situation, such as foreigners who have applied for asylum or international protection, but have not yet received an answer," he said.

Di Muro said the center could host "foreigners who create problems of public order as well as those who are subject to pre-expulsive detention. Currently it is estimated that 30-40% of the migrants in Ventimiglia are undocumented."

According to data cited by Di Muro, from the prefecture of Imperia, a total of 474 expulsion orders were issued to undocumented migrants in Ventimiglia between January and June 2021.

"On this, however, the State must take action to show that it exists. It is not enough to give migrants an expulsion order and say goodbye. It is necessary to arrange for the migrant's detention, so that the police commissioner's measure is more effective."

Ventimiglia mayor warns center 'must not become a hotel'

Ventimiglia Mayor Gaetano Scullino commented on the League initiative and said he agrees with it, but warned that the center "must not turn into a convenient hotel, where the foreigner comes and goes as he pleases."

"We have never been against welcoming children, women and refugees or asylum seekers. The citizens of Ventimiglia can no longer bear the drunks, the fights and the sleeping rough. By now they are afraid to go out in the evening," the mayor said.

"I want to hear from the other parties in the coalition and have guarantees from the interior ministry before expressing my final approval. If this is the case, then, we will have to choose a place far from the residential centers and as close as possible to the border, to receive first the pushbacks from France."


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