Today the Italian parliament votes on the immigration package in its new security legislation. Both have been much criticised by the opposition, with Italy’s immigration policy coming under fire from the UN and Council of Europe. However Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is unrepentant, and claims many immigrants are not what they seem;
“These people don’t arrive here because of any particular situation going on within their country or because they’re victims of injustice. They’re chosen methodically by criminal organisations,” he said. The laws are softer than coalition partner the Northern League would like, but are still an outrage says the opposition; “Berlusconi is hiding, with inhumane and unjust laws, his incapacity to do anything about the problem of illegal immigration. Turning doctors into spies won’t solve anything, and using a serious issue like immigration for populist propaganda could have tragic results that we don’t need,” said one MP voting against. Silvio Belusconi returned to power last year in part on a strong anti-immigration platform. Some Italians have blamed a rise in crime on the immigrant influx of recent years.