Tough new rules to crack down on illegal immigrants have been approved by the Italian Senate.
The upper house of parliament has approved a law imposing a 200 euro charge for immigrants requesting residency permits. Those who outstay their welcome will now face up to four years in jail. But the measure causing the most controversy is the lifting of a ban preventing doctors or hospital workers from reporting suspected illegal immigrants, except when a crime has been committed. Opposition MP, Anna Finnoachiarro, denounced the legislation describing it as a law allowing people to be persecuted. But Federico Bricolo of the Northern League group, which is behind the measures, says it is nothing new. “This kind of law already exists in Germany, in France, in the United States and in many European countries. We want to give a better health service to our citizens, and at the same time we want to understand who enters in our hospitals,” he said. The charity Doctors Without Borders and several medical associations say the measure will deter sick illegal immigrants from seeking treatment.