Black job, how about making it white?


Guardia di Finanza (the custom police) in Arzignano, Vicenza province identified 14 irregular workers after an intense control of factories and other work places, ‘in Città’, a local newspaper reported yesterday. According to the story, the irregular workers, originally from India, among whom four were illegal in Italy were strained to work from 10/12 hours a day for 4 euro per hour. This according to the provincial labor law is a violation and the factory owner has to face the music.

As for the poor migrants who could barely interpret the traumas of surviving the presence, with the future completely gloomy, their last about the episode was yet to be told.

With about 4 million foreigners in a country of an aged dominated 60 million people, it’s certainly not surprising that some are seriously worried about tomorrow. And with the global financial meltdown, though Italy isn’t the worst hit country around, according to the economic analysis recently published in the BBC website, some politicians want to make the people believe that the real problem of the moment is immigrants. Those who are permitted to live in Italy are already singing a very sad bureaucratic song and the ones without papers are continuously been described with awful adjectives, as if they were lesser humans.

A week ago in the Island of Lampedusa, the security agents mistook an Italian for one of the numerous migrants the local people have been complaining about and they seriously beat him up in the telephone booth.

An African migrant whom I told about the news reacted with a question, “But why would the security agents start beating up a person before they could ask for his identity? Is it rather funny?”

Looking away aimlessly, he continued, “It’s quite unfortunate that Italy hasn’t well explored the rich resources of immigration. It should have been realized that the hostile attitude of some opinionated politicians is not encouraging migrants to make a strong impart in this society. Immigrants cannot be put at the defensive, they need to been worked with for the betterment of this country. With a good understanding and a bit of encouragement from the state, some migrants could even get money somewhere and invest in this economy. One could even ask; why is the Italian government not making the tens of thousands of illegal migrants in Italy to contribute positively to Italian society? That they are illegal immigrants doesn’t mean they are junks.

After all, no one is ever born illegal, even though it’s sometime the case here!”

It might sound unnecessary, but it’s actually one thing that has a lot of implications on immigration policy of every country, depending on what a country really wants to gain in the long run. 

As Fortuna, a Congolese student in the University of Verona puts it, “Nothing is more right than a child is born free and freely welcomed into the society it’s born. Citizenship by birth should have been considered the right of a child.”

Speaking to an Italian woman who didn’t ask to been mentioned, she submitted, “The refusal of the state of Italy to grant citizenship to the children of migrant born here is a big lose. The state spends a lot of resources in training the children she is probably not going to receive services from when they grow up.”

How? And she explained, “By the time anti immigrants’ laws become too hard, many migrants will run away from Italy and their children along with them. Since Italy never counted these children as their own, they naturally will not have any reason to return and contribute to the economy that grew them up. Even those who will not return will still have had the obligation to fight for the interest of Italy, because they are part of it.”

She may have been right; after all, people are likely to do better in a system when they feel part of it. In one way or the other, we are affected by immigration. It’s therefore our responsibility to make it work better.


Ewanfoh Obehi Peter

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