Immigration and you ! correspondent Peter Ewanfoh Obehi reviewed last 18th January about recent changes in Italy‘s immigration laws.

“If today is world immigrant’s day, then it’s a moment of reflection about those who for one reason or the other are compel to live in other people’s countries. Apart from the universal human right declaration, which presses for the support and protection of all refugees, it is even more natural for every human being to understand that those running away from their homes must have been doing so to stay alive”.


To some Europeans who are of the view that they are simply victim of invasion by the immigrants, they just might need to think twice.

According to the Italian born ex-vice president of the Europeans commission, Mr. Franco Frattini, Europe simply cannot close her door against immigrants, by trying to forget her emigration story of the past centuries. Some Italians went to the Americas with little above carboy suitcase in search of opportunities, and they managed to grow into big shops owners and captains of industries. 

Immigration might not actually be out of the necessity to survive, just as it’s always a consequence of some unfavourable situations such as natural disasters and man-made factors like mismanaged politics and poor economy. As Frantini put it in the more than 23 minutes video on integration, ‘available on you tube’, immigration should be governed while the immigrants themselves assisted to enter the new society and grow with it.

However, just as no one is ever happy if his way of life is disrespected, no immigrant has the right to overlook the culture and believes in the land he resides, because respect they say is reciprocal.

It was in the bid to successfully manage the clash of culture and the people in general that some started to clamour for cultural integration in this part of the world. Only that to some individuals, the subject itself can be understood differently. And as for those who have long legs, their views are nearly as good as the law.

Just recently, the Italian parliament has had to entertain a lot of grammars, following the    several proposals on immigration and cultural integration. Some were of the opinion that creating separate schools for the children of immigrants would be better for Italy. But to some others, they could not understand how such would contribute to the reality of integration.

berlusconi.jpgThe politicians in Northern League are victims of critics who have often accused them of being racists. With the formidable voice they have managed to acquire after the last election, the party has suddenly become very popular, both in Italy and in the European parliament.

They wanted to make the immigrants in Italy feel the heat of the global financial meltdown by taking 50:00 Euros from their reserves, on a separate tax system. But the opposition in the parliament, Democratic Party (PD) quickly cried foul at the discriminating proposal. Even the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi could not give his green light.

It didn’t stop there because on January 13th, the parliament approved article 19 on the security law. According to the article, the irregular migrants in Italy, running into several hundreds of thousands are not going to be sent to the prison for their illegal stay, only they must get ready with their 5 to 10,000 Euros as fine.

In reacting to the newly approved law, a Nigerian boy who has being living in Verona for five years without the possibility to regularise himself lamented to his friend:

“O boy, where on earth am I supposed to get 10,000 Euros to pay for my irregularity in Italy? Why would I even keep suffering myself in this cold with 10,000 Euros in my pocket?” and his friend replied:

“Don’t worry about that yet until you are caught. You may not understand it, but those who made the law do…”

Without doubt, no reasonable government will ever fold its hands with the amount of immigrants in Italy, but the fact is that a good management of the situation will certainly make Italy richer for it. It will help the ordinary Italians to understand that the different people on their streets are actually blessing and not the other way round.

After all, the phrase ‘World Immigrant’s Day’ makes more sense when the host people are able to realise that immigration is not about negativity.


Ewanfoh Obehi Peter

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