What’s the best way to approach illegal immigration?

Milan immigrantYou can’t miss them in Milan – the Africans, Asians and North Africans huddled on street corners, sheets laid out with fake designer handbags or toys on the ground in front of them. They’re constantly on the lookout for the police, ready to run should they catch sight of one. No wonder – since earlier this month being an illegal immigrant in Italy is a crime punishable with a fine of up to $13,000.

Italy has taken the hardest line on immigration in the EU, and tonight we’re going to be live from a hostel for immgrants in Milan to talk about it.

In addition to a hefty fine, the new law means people renting accomodation to illegal immigrants could face up to 3 years in jail. It also permits the formation of unarmed ‘citizen patrol’ groups to help keep order.

Critics of Italy’s policy say it’s a populist, racist move which demonised immigrants without solving any of the problems which have led to them being such a visible presence on the streets.

The Italian government says it’s a necessary move to try to stop the country being swamped by foreigners who are behind much of the crime in Italy.

I’ll post again a bit later on this but here are a few things to think about in the mean time: do you think a hardline is the only approach that is effective in the fight against illegal immigration?

Italy has recruited medical staff into the fight against illegal immigration: doctors are now authorised to inform the authorities if they see a patient without legal papers. Is it to bring doctors and nurses into it?

And what about citizen patrols? Would you be happy to see unarmed groups of citizens helping to patrol around your home in order to keep the peace, and keep away illegal immigrants?

135 Responses to “What’s the best way to approach illegal immigration?”

  1. 1 deryck/trinidad
    July 22, 2009 at 11:36

    This is classical blowback. After centuries of exploitation immigrants from third world countries are migrating to rich first world countries.

    Lack of democracy, educational opportunities, infrastructure, jobs etc have led to many people looking for greener pastures.

    There is no best way to approach illegal immigration because no matter what measures are put in place the immigrants will keep coming.

    The only viable solution is to help the third world nations develop prosperous stable sustainable economies not based on the selling of commodities but on knowledge based industries. If these countries can develop some level of innovation and production and processing of their raw materials into goods that can be sold then there is hope.

    • 2 Lynn
      July 22, 2009 at 18:53

      I think Deryck is right as far as the underlying cause of illegal immigration. The lack of basic rights, educational opportunities and infrastructure that would produce jobs and a good life in their own countries have led to the exodus of so many illegal immigrants to “greener pastures”. And there are many industrial businesses in these “greener pastures” who have taken advantage of these immigrants by providing work at lower wages and worse working conditions than the countries own citizens by law are required to receive. It’s the same world wide. In the US it’s individual corporations greed and exploitation, in other countries it has begun as a government sanctioned immigration that has spun out of control. Either way, to our point of view this is exploitation- to the immigrant’s point of view it’s a better life.

      But, I am skeptical about Deryck’s “only viable solution”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good idea, but it is an idealistic one and not likely to become a reality any time soon, if ever. Even with the comparatively good relations that the US has had for many years with our neighbors to the south, we still have not been able to influence the governments of these countries to invest in their own people, to provide the jobs, educational opportunities and infrastructure needed to keep their citizens from fleeing to the north.

      I have yet to see a comprehensive plan with any chance of becoming a reality much less a chance of success. It will take the will of the people and the will of the governments of all the countries concerned to make the changes necessary.

      Does anyone have a realistic plan to get us out of this mess we have made for ourselves?

    • 3 John
      July 22, 2009 at 19:50

      In my opinion, the solution is in g8 countries who are victims of high illegal imigrants should stamp out bad governments the way they did with Iraq and Afganistan. Most of the imigrants come from Africa and to this end such countries that account for causing this mass exodus should have their bad leaders removed rather than wrongly accuse Italy of bad imigration laws

    • July 23, 2009 at 09:13

      Deryck, you have hit the nail on the head. Developed countries should aim to aid third world countries to improve their economies. Giving any form of asylum amounts to uprooting people from their own cultural heritage and plunging them into an alien culture. This gives rise to thousands of more problems to the immigrants as well as the hosts. This is more tragic. The world would be a more peaceful place if people could live in their own homeland.

    • 5 Ed
      July 23, 2009 at 17:22

      Milanise people support these laws. Everyware in Milan there are check points for illigal immigrants entering and leaving the Metro, Bus and Train stations. Bus ticket checkers work with police and military to check documents. Armed Guards ( private not police ) enter subway trains with their hand on their pistol. Over the last year or so the military presence has gradually increased. Machine guns are carried openly by the military in the centre. The Frightening thing for me is how normal and ordinary this seems, how everyday and commonplace. If you are legal you notice these things no more than the fast food place you pass on the way to work. This could happen anyware in Europe and people would just accept it.

  2. 6 Billy
    July 22, 2009 at 11:47

    I personally have no problem with loads of immigrants and long as they’re not swamping the welfare system. If they’re willing to work harder than the locals and have compatible values with the country then fair play to them it’s just protectionism otherwise in that respect.
    If you do or don’t want to host immigrants in your property or do or don’t wish to give them a job in your own company then that should be your right.
    The lazy spongers won’t get anything if social welfare recipients get background checks anyway. And spongers can also in part apply to work-shy or incompetent nationals who seem to think they are entitled to be employed by and draw wages from someone who would otherwise rather employ someone more suitable regardless of their origin.

  3. 7 James Ian
    July 22, 2009 at 12:48

    If they are willing to work hard, be productive and pay taxes and not be social leaches then I don’t care if they come or not. But when they are not paying taxes, not working, making money in illigal operations and sucking up money and services from social programs then I have no use for them and as far as I’m concerned we need to take what ever acttion we have to to get rid of them and keep them out.

    • 8 Ramesh, India
      July 22, 2009 at 13:29

      You may need to clarify whther muslim women in those can wear Burkha or not before not caring about their presence!

  4. 9 Nigel
    July 22, 2009 at 12:48

    Surely there is no such thing as an illegal immigrant long as an immigrants have rights and have been seduced by the mis-shapen belief that there is such a thing as the “International Community” of which he or she is a part.

    • 10 RightPaddock
      July 23, 2009 at 01:44

      @Nigel – Last time I looked most of the world consists of sovereign states. States are allowed to have laws that define the circumstances under which people can enter that state.

      Most countries have no active managed immigration schemes. Many states seem to prefer having migrants enter illegally because they can be more easily exploited. Its much harder to enslave someone who has their residency visa, work permit, social security card, tax file number, etc.

      Legal immigrants are fully protected by the law, they are not hiding in the dark from authorities where they can be forced forced to turn to crime in order to survive. And they can access all the organs of civil society such as unions, human rights and corruption commissions to seek redress to any problems they experience.

  5. 11 Ramesh, India
    July 22, 2009 at 12:52

    Once illegal immigrants enter a country, there is not much that county can do to send them back because it requires the government to prove which country those illegal immigrants are from. This is not an issue that can be dealt by individual EU countries. There should be EU level policy and strict implementation. Otherwise, the best thing Italy can do is to give legal status to those immigrants and see the fun because after getting legality, the immigrants would find Italy unattractive to make money and most of them would try to move to richer countries like France, Germany and UK!! This fact itself highlights the need for an EU level initiative to the illegal immigration problem. But, when an issue goes to Brussels, we all know the comedy it is going to produce!!
    May be, the EU countries could learn from why India interfered in bangladesh’s independence issue about 40 years ago – to avoid hige number of Bangladeshis crossing the border because of the uncertainity in their country.

  6. 12 patti in cape coral
    July 22, 2009 at 13:28

    My husband came to the states the illegal route from Colombia, took him five days stowed away on a boat. The legal route has taken four years so far, and he had to go back to Colombia during that time. They finally approved his application, and I will hopefully be seeing him again at the end of this year. I am overjoyed, even though we have to get to know each other all over again. Our lawyer said that because of the long wait times, a lot of marriages crumble, and if the person is allowed into the country, his support system is gone.

    It definitely seems like there is more hostility toward immigrants in Italy than what my husband experienced in the states. In fact, he told me that Americans were more helpful to him that other latinos, once they saw he was a hard worker. I realize this is not every immigrant’s experience.

    I have to agree that third world countries need to develop, so their citizens don’t seek better opportunities elsewhere. I would have been happy to go to Colombia to stay with him if there would have been any job opportunities for me, or any special needs schools for my son.

    • 13 RightPaddock
      July 23, 2009 at 01:51

      You have highlighted the basic flaw with the US approach, there are too many who profit from illegal migrants, especially in the agriculture sector and home service sectors.

      Allowing droves of illegal immigrants into the country from central & south America discriminates against those who don’t live in the America’s and cannot therefore wander over the border – they too have to wait years to be allowed to migrate to the US.

  7. July 22, 2009 at 14:03

    I do not know how to deal with illegals. The problem requires a collection of brains working in unison,if that is possible? But as for citizen patrols;no thanks,they sound like vigilantes and perhaps would degenerate into a mob. “Citizen Patrol” sounds very French revolutionary.

  8. 15 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
    July 22, 2009 at 14:20

    During past centuries,the Europeans were the first people to started migrating to the third world countries and therefore now the inhabitants from the third world countries are just paying back.

  9. 16 Ann
    July 22, 2009 at 14:21

    I’m with Deryck on this one.

    And thank you Patti, for ‘humanising’ the issue for us – I’m so glad to hear your good news 🙂

  10. 18 Roberto
    July 22, 2009 at 14:40

    RE “” And what about citizen patrols? “”

    ————— Without involved citizens there is no state.

    Illegal immigration is the result of disinvolved citizens who’ve relinquished their citizenship for consumerism and allow big corporations to dictate who gets elected and decides the policies that create global turmoil and uproot these illegals from their home countries.

    Need more citizen patrols and less illegals.

  11. July 22, 2009 at 14:41

    Illegal immigration has to be nipped in the bud. Legal migration is the only way to solve this mammoth problem. Only applicants with the necessary skills and qualifications should be allowed to apply: they should only be allowed in after their applications have been thoroughly checked, processed and approved, We do not want situations where ghettos are formed with frequent run-ins with the police. Otherwise there would be far too many social problems for the government to cope with. Laws are meant to be followed. Clear laws framed for the benefit of all citizens ensure that fairness and justice are at the heart of the system.

  12. 20 John in Salem
    July 22, 2009 at 15:09

    I would also agree with Deryck here. It is far more cost effective (and humane) to help these countries develop infrastructure and industries than hiring more border police, passing onerous laws and legitimizing vilgilante gangs.

  13. 21 Jennifer
    July 22, 2009 at 15:10

    The best way to approach illegal immigration is to remove those living here and deposit them back in their home country. Pretty simple!

    I think that instead of entering another country illegally; immigrants should work to improve their home country. When they enter other countries illegally; they they undermine those who go through the appropriate processes to become legal, productive citizens of the other country. They also create an imbalance when they obtain services meant for LEGAL us citizens.

    • July 22, 2009 at 16:03

      @Jennifer: Who in the USA exept for the native indians aren’t immigrants? Just because sometime a first group of immigrants decided not to have any more?

      @blog: How many illegal immigrants do we have working on jobs, that are too low for us “legals”? Forcing immigrants out is hypocritical, because it’s us “legals” who employ them.

      And do not assume, that illegal immigrants are illegal by choice. They would rather be legal and earn in a rightious way their money instead of always living in fear, being caught or running from the police.

      • 23 Jessica in NYC
        July 22, 2009 at 17:52

        @ Konstantin

        Excellent point, but no body wants to take responsibility for their roles in creating a need for “illegal” immigration. How many people buy the cheap goods on the street or food at the grocery store? It’s no secret that major produce and manufacturing companies hire undocumented people as evidence by the immigration raids here in the US. I don’t know any anti-immigrant people who doesn’t complain when prices in grocery stores increase.

      • 24 RightPaddock
        July 23, 2009 at 02:03

        Using your argument the following are all illegal immigrants :

        people of Norman descent in France;
        people of Norman, Angle, Saxon, Viking, Hugenot and Jute descent in England;
        people of Turkic descent in Anatolia;
        people of Arab descent in North Africa
        people of Siberian descent in North America (“native Indians” as you call them)

        But I do agree with your point regarding the employment (exploitation) of illegal immigrants – it is the issue to which I object.

  14. 25 VictorK
    July 22, 2009 at 15:25

    The Italians don’t have a serious problem with racial and religious minorities now; keeping illegals out is the only way not to acquire one in the future. Arrest and deportation of illegals; fines and imprisonment of their facilitators. No mystery, no difficulty.

  15. 26 Roy, Washington DC
    July 22, 2009 at 15:42

    We could be vigilant about deporting them, but as the USA is seeing with immigrants from places like Cuba and Mexico, they’ll just keep coming back.

    We could encourage states (here in the USA, at least) to pass stricter laws against hiring illegal immigrants, but they’ll just move to another state that is more welcoming. After I left Oklahoma a few years ago, I heard of this happening; relatives told me of Mexicans moving in droves to places like Colorado, which welcomed them with open arms after Oklahoma toughened its immigration laws.

    In reality, no one solution is the best. The “right” solution will involve balancing all the different approaches, and it will vary based on things like location, economy, and politics. Italy’s solution will be different than the UK’s, which will be different than the USA’s.

    • 27 Jessica in NYC
      July 22, 2009 at 17:03

      @ Roy

      Actually a recent study shows there has been a 10 year decline of Mexican migrating to the United States by 40% according the think tank PewResearchCenter. The xenophobic media coverage would have us believing believe otherwise.

  16. 28 Sena
    July 22, 2009 at 16:06

    illegal immigration has been the hertic problem which has eating up the development of developing countries. this unlawful traveling to other country is caused by the perseption of greenapastures outside their contenent. this mostly noticed by africans to have easy life in europe, etc
    to prevent illegal immmigration, it is important to educte people but the coinsiquences of it . this can be made avaliable on internet, tv stations, news papers, magazines, mtv,sabc,cbs etc to preach on illegal immiggration

  17. 29 Ann
    July 22, 2009 at 16:07

    I heard a interview earlier by Madeleine Morris – she was talking to an Italian government representative called Garibalidi (?) about these new measures…. He was saying that one of the main problems with the illegal immigrants is their criminal behaviour.

    Now I hate to be the one to break this to him, but did he stop to consider the possibility that it becomes necessary to steal in order to eat if one is not allowed to work? Or maybe the argument about criminality is a smokescreen? I wonder?

  18. 31 Tom
    July 22, 2009 at 16:39

    I am an American citizen, my wife from England came over to play basketball at university, once her student visa was up, we got married. Hundreds of papers, multiple interviews an attorney and thousands of dollars later she got her green card. We did it the legal and correct way and it was a nightmare! I cannot speak for the Italian situation, but as far as illegal immigrants go in America, I don’t blame them, why not put yourself and family in a better position, that is why most of America is here today, because our ancestors did the same thing. If the immigration process was much easier in the U.S. then maybe we could sign some people up and get them to pay taxes, I am sure they woul prefer to contibute to their country and be ‘legal’.

    • 32 patti in cape coral
      July 22, 2009 at 16:46

      @ Tom – That has absolutely been my experience as well, we have paid immigration a small fortune, and we’re not done paying yet. Also, my husband paid taxes using a ITIN number from the IRS before he was even legal, because we both figured that he should behave as a regular citizen would if he wanted to be one.

  19. 33 Ramesh, India
    July 22, 2009 at 16:45

    @Konstantin in Germany
    I like to bring to your notice that there is difference between legal and illegal immigrants. I don’t think european governments would mind legalising those illegal immigrants if there is a guarantee that no more would come as illegal. However, forcing illegal immigrants out is impossible. Where they would be forced out when their nationality is not known?

    Illegal immigrants would go to europe by choice, of course, with a hope that they would be legalised at some point in future. Illegal immigrants create problems to those who really need refuge in other countries because of war etc.

    • 34 Konstantin in Germany
      July 22, 2009 at 17:12

      most illegal immigrants claim to be war refugees. when i see all those africans flooding in to spain from darfour or any conflict region else. if they apply for political assylum, they must also name, where they come from to verify the reason of their application. in case they don’t, they get extradited to the country through which they came. since that is not the best option, they might tell bogus country as home to have a better starting point for the next time.
      btw my mother migrated from guatemala to germany in 1972. one of her brothers migrated illegally to oregon in the 1960s. i got care there from an american family, they sent him back, he migrated legally to the states and he’s now a baptist pastor in forth worth, texas.

  20. 35 Monica in DC
    July 22, 2009 at 16:53

    @ Tom-
    Its called HONESTY

  21. 36 Denise in Chicago
    July 22, 2009 at 16:55

    I understand the frustration of the Italian government. If you are in a country illegally you are not an immigrant – you are a criminal. If one is unwilling to take the legal path required to live in a country, they simply do not deserve the right to be there. The health care system and schools in the United States are swamped with those who entered here illegally.

  22. 37 Chintan in Houston
    July 22, 2009 at 16:59

    Movement of people is just as natural as movement of goods. I guess it would be safe to say that western countries have more of an issue than developing countries do. Lot of western countries preach concepts such as free economy, global trade, etc. Their perspective on this is very narrow, they don’t mind movement of goods and money but movement of people is restricted. People are just as much a product like anything else and hence if you restrict one aspect of this so called FREE TRADE you are not achieving this objective. In the history of this world people have always moved for water, land, jobs, weather, transport routes, etc. why does anyone believe it will stop now? Just because you draw a line in the sand saying this is country A and that is country B you cannot cross this line anymore is completely outrageous and to an extent hateful. I understand man is territorial just as much as any other animal and wants to protect their area of influence, but let me give you an example, say for example in the US it is perfectly fine for a person to move from Seattle to Phoenix which over 2000+ miles away but if someone from Mexico comes over which is just 300+ miles away it is unacceptable, now wouldn’t Mexicans be more native to this piece of land than anyone from Seattle?!?!?!


    • 38 Monica in DC
      July 22, 2009 at 17:18

      Goods don’t use the resources of a country that others pay for… i.e. healthcare, education, etc.

    • 39 Jack
      July 22, 2009 at 18:42

      Illegals means they are outside the law of the country . This outlaws can kill , murder and rape and they remained unknown. No records .

  23. 40 Ramesh, India
    July 22, 2009 at 17:13

    EU countries allow free movement of people within the borders of member countries. To achieve a level playing field, it requires membership seeking countries(into EU) to reach certain levels economically so that people from other countries within EU could move to those countries too.

  24. July 22, 2009 at 17:14

    A hardline isn’t the only approach that is effective in the fight against illegal immigration. It will have limited success as there are hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in Italy and millions across Europe. If all these immigrants are forced to leave, Europe will witness one of its catastrophic incidents as illegal immigrants will turn violent. European governments will have the choice of imprisoning them all, reporting them by force. This can worsen its relations with the countries they come from, especially those with which it has close economic ties.

    A possible solution will be to encourage the countries where the illegal immigrants are from or they cross to be strict towards them in exchange of economic aid.

    Immigrants with a substantial capital should be encouraged to invest in their own countries to create jobs for their fellow countrymen who will no longer need to pay substantial amount to criminal immigration networks that help them reach European borders, only to be faced with unemployment and deportation from the country they used to see as a dreamland.

    • 42 Tom K in Mpls
      July 24, 2009 at 15:31

      Yes, confrontation will cause more confrontation and not stop the inflow. To stop the flow and make them want to leave you need to remove what attracts them. That is money. Jobs. If you fine those that hire them so heavily that it is no longer feasible to hire illegals any more, you eliminate the lure. Let the illegals peaceably find their own way to greener pastures.

  25. July 22, 2009 at 17:21

    Stop corruption in places like Africa, let African leaders know that there is enough resources here for all of us to share and wont need to go to another country, create real opportunities for small businesses to thrive, give people the chance to education, and above all, let those who travel come and tell the truth when they come back home and stop painting rosy pictures.

  26. 44 Ramesh, India
    July 22, 2009 at 17:26

    Tom, I know of a country from where some army personnel migrated to Canada and happily doing a cab driver job!! However, the topic here is not legal immigration but illegal one.

  27. 45 Stephen in Portland/Oregon
    July 22, 2009 at 17:35

    I just cant realize as a person from Europe and now living in the united states what its like for those people. Who knows what I would do in there position to improve my life.
    I am totally torn with this whole thing, it’s hard not to have compassion, but can the developed countries absorbed these people and indeed their culture?

    These counties get tons of aid from the west, which does not seem to make any difference to their living standards for the every day people. Perhaps it’s at this level change needs to happen.

    By the way Madeleine you jet setter you! New York, London, Milan, The dalles.

  28. 46 Gerardo Tejo
    July 22, 2009 at 17:49

    To the gentleman from the Northern League who has just said (Europe today) that 90% of the jail population in Italy is formed by illegal immigrants…are we supposed to believe that before mass-immigration started a few years ago, only 10% of the prison-capacity was occupied?
    Gerardo, Montreal

  29. 47 Angelina
    July 22, 2009 at 17:50

    Creating job opportunities and better living conditions in the home country is the solution.

  30. 48 Mike in Seattle
    July 22, 2009 at 17:52

    Here’s how you approach illegal immigration: you welcome them with open arms. There was a time in the United States where immigrants were allowed in after a quick check up and a few questions.

    These days it can take 10 to 15 years to be allowed to naturalize and that’s if you’re really rich or already have family in the country. Make sure you have a good lawyer, as Immigration loves to lose your paperwork.

    It’s disgusting that people who want to live and work in an honest manner are prevented from entering areas in which that is possible. To block these people is pure racism.

  31. 49 Tom D Ford
    July 22, 2009 at 17:54

    @ deryck/trinidad
    July 22, 2009 at 11:36

    “This is classical blowback. After centuries of exploitation immigrants from third world countries are migrating to rich first world countries. …”

    You wrote what I was about to write. I agree with your post and I’m lazy enough to just quote you.

  32. 50 Tom D Ford
    July 22, 2009 at 17:56

    Madeleine, you didn’t send out the email.

  33. 51 Mike in Seattle
    July 22, 2009 at 17:57

    As far as unsupervised citizen patrols are concerned, it will lead to nothing but the harassment of actual citizens who simply don’t look like the typical Italian. This policy can only lead to tragic results, and if it goes through I’m sure I’ll be hearing about beatings in the street for people who “don’t comply” with what the mob wants.


  34. 52 Anthony
    July 22, 2009 at 18:01

    Here’s a good one!!! In the California, this is what we do.

    1) Enforce that English is the first language. Make it so that anyone who wants to come here knows English and must take a test. Therefore, if someone doesn’t know English, we can ask them to show their green card without being “racist”. Also, having multiple laguages is VERY enabling. (also, there will be some cases where they won’t need to pass the test)

    2) If you are born here, you must ATLEAST have 1 parent who is a citizen. If not, they child is taken away, and the parents are sent back.

    3) If illegals aren’t prpared to go home after, refuse them in the E.R.

    4) They need to somehow be branded if they are put through our prision system.

    Take away all their rights as a citizen, since they aren’t really citizens.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 53 Chrissy in Portland
      July 22, 2009 at 18:25

      @ anthony… you aren’t talking about taking away their rights as a citizen.. you are talking about taking away their basic human rights. Honestly, I’m completely at a loss for words. Branding? Refuse emergency room health care?? Taking children away? Seriously???!!

      • 54 patti in cape coral
        July 22, 2009 at 19:13

        @ Anthony – Brand them? Are you serious, or are you trying to stir up more debate?

    • 55 Konstantin in Germany
      July 22, 2009 at 21:26


      That kind of thinking made concentration camps in the 1930’s and 1940’s Nazi-Germany possible.

  35. 56 Louisa
    July 22, 2009 at 18:04

    This is indeed a serious issue in many countries.Be it in the States,Italy or India,inspite of attempts to tackle illegal immigation by the respective governments,these efforts have failed at times.We must consider why illegal immigration does take place.Perhaps poor working conditions,very low wages,fewer opportunities,etc. have compelled people to immigrate to countries which seem to guarantee its citizens a promising future.Sheer need in man to better their life and their survival instincts probably play a part in this regard.Immigration and other regulations might be too time consuming and expensive for a large fraction of the poorer section and hence ‘illegal’ comes into the picture.If developing countries are really developing and the leaders do take care of the citizens adequately,there would be no need for immigration,leave alone illegal immigration.The strictest of laws and regulations can sometimes fail if the root causes are not dealt with.

    July 22, 2009 at 18:05



  37. July 22, 2009 at 18:19

    Without cooperation with European countries and the countries whose borders make it easy for illegal immigrants to cross to Europe, illegal immigration will continue. With the admission of the EU, especially Spain, Morocco (which is separated from Spain just by 15 Km the Mediterranean), has helped reduce illegal immigration.

    There are hundreds of thousand of Moroccan illegal immigrants in Europe, mainly in Spain and Italy. However, even Moroccan legal immigrants are considering returning home because of the economic recession in Europe. Others prefer to stay hoping for a better tomorrow.

    In short, immigrants should have favourable conditions to escape the degrading effect of being unwelcome on a foreign soil.

  38. 59 steve
    July 22, 2009 at 18:20

    In the great ironies of life, I just returned from a class on Asylum law. Here in the US, you have to prove subjective and objective fear or persecution, on several possible grounds, for asylum to be granted. Just not liking the politics of the country isn’t persecution. You have to show that it’s likely you would be persecuted for political reasons, or racial reasons, or the various other reasons that asylum can be granted. And like Italy, if asylum is not granted, they have have removal withheld, but could remain in a legal limbo of being allowed to remain, but not allowed to become a permanent resident, ever. In the US, illegal immigrants are mostly allowed to work, and have access to healthcare at taxpayer expense.

  39. July 22, 2009 at 18:20

    Without cooperation with European countries and the countries whose borders make it easy for illegal immigrants to cross to Europe, illegal immigration will continue. With the admission of the EU, especially Spain, Morocco (which is separated from Spain just by 15 Km the Mediterranean), has helped reduce illegal immigration.

    There are hundreds of thousand of Moroccan illegal immigrants in Europe, mainly in Spain and Italy. However, even Moroccan legal immigrants are considering returning home because of the economic recession in Europe. Others prefer to stay hoping for a better tomorrow.

    In short, immigrants should have favourable economic and political conditions at home to escape the degrading effect of being unwelcome on a foreign soil.

  40. 61 Melissa
    July 22, 2009 at 18:23

    We are all immigrants in this world, the land belongs to none of us and all of us at the same time. We should welcome people into our countries, as well as assist them in returning to their country to build better communities after their countries are rid of terrorists, Mafia’s , whatever ignorant groups of people that are trying to “own” land. No borders should be closed, but at the same time people should stay and fight for their country and reclaim their communities that have been destroyed by bad people. There is enough room in this world for all of us! No one is a hundred percent italian, english, afghani, we’re all mixed if you look at history. As long as people coming into the their country will add to the community I do not see any reason to deny them a visa or citizenship.

  41. 62 steve
    July 22, 2009 at 18:24

    If you violate a law, you are a criminal. I’m sorry if you have a problem with that. You need to twist language around some people committing crimes don’t get called criminals? Should we call pedophiles “children lovers” since it sounds better than pedophile?

  42. 63 Chrissy in Portland
    July 22, 2009 at 18:26

    I realize we are talking about Italy and not the US, but Americans get very uppity about this topic. In regards to our own problems concerning immigration I think most of them have forgotten the words that are on the Statue of Liberty:

    “Give me your tired, Your poor, Your huddle masses yearning to breath free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    I’ve been through the immigration process here in the states with my husband who is a UK citizen and had very much the same experience as others have mentioned here on the blog. After going through the process, I couldn’t help but think that the reason that the process was so complicated and for the ridiculous amount of time (years), money (thousands of dollars) etc. is solely to discourage people from even applying. If they had those resources and a decently quality of life in their home country to begin with why would they need to come here?

    The citizen patrols idea really worries me. Unfortunately, I believe this will result in racially motivated hate crimes. Any enforcement should be strictly done by the government.

  43. 64 Andrew Davis
    July 22, 2009 at 18:27

    Italy’s new law has the effect of criminalising poverty and of turning refugees into outlaws. Social problems related to high immigration won’t be solved by hunting immigrants like rats.

    Regina, Canada

  44. July 22, 2009 at 18:29

    NAFTA an other alphabetised trade agreements have killed opportunities for people in Latin American countries to establish long-term self-sufficient economic systems of their own choosing. Kill those agreements and implement a fair and just trade policy that does not exploit the human and natural resources of other people’s coutries in order to aggrandise the wealth of the most wealthy in your own country, and perhaps the poor people of the world will stop flooding your borders.

    • 66 RightPaddock
      July 23, 2009 at 02:19

      @ Pink Muslimah – yeah right

      Brazil, shouldn’t be allowed to export is minerals,
      Venezuela shouldn’t be allowed to export its oil,
      Argentina shouldn’t be allowed to export its beef,
      Chile shouldn’t be allowed to export its copper.
      China shouldn’t be allowed to export is manufactures.

      Fair trade is just another name for protectionism. Its the kleptocrats who running the “third world” countries that are the problem. They prefer not to implement transparent resource management and tax policies that benefit the people as is done in countries like Norway, Canada and Australia, instead they prefer to squirrel away the billions in their private Swiss Bank accounts and US government bonds.

      Oh and the US shouldn’t be allowed to export its cultural products.

  45. 67 Tom
    July 22, 2009 at 18:30

    I am not suggesting people be dishonest, but with the situation we have now in the U.S., the mountain to climb in order to be ‘legal’ is made to be nearly impossible.
    It seems to me with the big proponents of anti-immigration it all comes down to fear. Fear to accept something different, whether it is religion, language, culture, etc. For all of you that are so worried about your tax money and resources, how many resources are spent on trying to keep immigrants out; the walls, manned checkpoints, tickets back home, the whole immigration system is a mess. Good point by Chintan, we are all global citizens who should be able to live and go where we choose.

    • 68 Monica in DC
      July 22, 2009 at 18:49

      Well, as someone who has lived overseas as the daughter of a diplomat, I can tell you I am NOT afraid of accepting difference. What I have a problem with is, those who decide to skip procedure and hop a border, ILLEGALLY… and then use the resources of the country they invade, which are paid for by others (i.e. ME, you, etc)… just to turn around and send whatever money they can earn back to their country of origin, instead of putting it into the economy of the country in which they are working (illegally).

  46. 69 steve
    July 22, 2009 at 18:31

    Also, I’ve worked at a US consulate in Germany, and I hear some of the guests sound like it’s a fundamental right to get a visa. Countless people from western european nations were denied visas by us. Plenty of people from Afghanistan were denied visas. Why? Because they were applying for tourist visas and could not overcome the presumption that they would not leave. Lots of these people apply for tourist visas, when the Officer realizes they are not going to leave. They should be applying for immigrant visas, and that can take a VERY long time if you ever get one. But this is why these people aren’t getting visas, because basically the officer doesn’t believe they will leave the country, and in these cases, they would be right, as the people intend to stay. But you don’t have a “right” to get a visa.

  47. 70 Naomi
    July 22, 2009 at 18:31


    I have family in Italy in fact in Milano! I appalled by these stories. I live in the United States and the U.S. is not very friendly to immigrants either although it is a nation that has been created by immigrants, the only true Americans are Native Americans. This may not be the case for Italy, but at the same time it would be interesting if you’d ask the immigrants there where they are from? I believe there is relationship between systematic disenfranchisement that occurred during imperialism and colonialism and huge immigration of folks during our current time. Folks travel to other countries, because the resources within their nation have been depleted by colonialists and colonialist left nations after creating huge socio-economic issues and not being held accountable for them. So it appalls when former colonial nation such as Italy has the audacity to ask why let’s say why an Eritrean or Libyan now lives in Italy. The truth of matter is Italy created huge rifts in those nations and they are still suffering those consequences.


  48. 71 Jack
    July 22, 2009 at 18:32

    Fine them? Illegals normally has a lot of money to pay human smugglers , or crossed borders cases are desperately broke. Imprisoned them ? Prison life in my country with free food , accomodations and top class medical care. They don’t mind. So we whip them. Scarred and traumatised for live , they never return.

  49. 72 steve
    July 22, 2009 at 18:33

    @ Anthony

    LOL. I took the bus for the first time in a while on monday, and all of the signs were in spanish, and this is Washington, DC, not California. Some of the stuff I could tell was re: Police and some program of reporting things, but since I’m not very good with Spanish, I’m not really sure, but there was no english version of the sign. Why was I excluded?

  50. 73 Voktor
    July 22, 2009 at 18:37

    Lets not forget…The Vast Majority of us here in the US are descendants of emigrants.
    Therefore it’s very hypocritical of us to deny others Legal Entry into our country.
    If were going to avoid having a double standard then we need to open our doors to emigrants. Run a criminal background check then give them citizenship and social security #.

    Otherwise all of us who are not of Native American Descent would need to deport ourselves back to wherever we came from.

  51. 74 Patrick from nyc
    July 22, 2009 at 18:41

    The only people who protect illegal immigrants either profit by employing them or are illegal themselves.

    I’m from the US and it is a difficult process to immigrate here legally. Allowing illegal immigrants rights or even a path to being a legal immigrant makes a mockery of people who migrate legally. They are criminals regardless of their struggles in their home country. Steal an apples to feed your family still makes you a criminal.

    Refugee status is not the same as illegal immigrants.

  52. 75 Diego G Diaz
    July 22, 2009 at 18:44

    Italy, don’t forget your history. You filled emigration boats to north and south america, you were discriminated upon in the US for example. Now, you are developing the out most repressive emigration law. It’s a shame.

    Emigrants move through countries out of need, not out of pleasure, they are not criminals, but most of the times victims of global politics often caused by developed nations greed for natural resources. Who’s the criminal? you tell me.

    • 76 Time Zone
      July 30, 2009 at 14:22

      You’re right Diego,

      This is what the Northern League party ( Lega Nord ) does’nt remember anymore. That Italians also emigrated to other countries.

      The extreme economic difficulties of post-war Italy and the severe internal tensions within the nation (which led to the rise of Fascism) “pushed” 614,000 Italian emigrants away in 1920, half of them going to the United States.

      During the first five years of Fascism, one and one-half million people left Italy. That is 300,000 persons per year, a number quite comparable to the early years of the 20th century. Even as late as 1930,

      300,000 Italian emigrants left Italy in that single year. By that time, the nature of the emigrants had changed; there was, for example, a marked increase in the rise of relatives of non-working age who were moving to be with their families who had gone before.

  53. 77 fabio ricci
    July 22, 2009 at 18:45

    The figures show that we do not have to face immigration, but invasion.
    Immigrants represent almost 9% of italian population, with a huge growth in the last two decades.
    Our social system cannot hold the resources that this invasion involves: in fact, immigrants find a low-income work, paying low taxes but requiring high cost social services such as medications, hospitals, public transport and so on.
    In the last years it was simply too easy to enter in italy, and hundreds of thousands of immigrants have arrived. Italy is one of the most crowded country in the world ( almost 180 persons for square km ), we are suffering from lack of resources for these persons, not saying that they represent a threat for all the low-income italian citizens, that have to face an unfair competition on job market.
    This is not a question of human rights, but a practical one.
    First living, then philosophing.

    • 78 Diego G Diaz
      July 22, 2009 at 19:07

      Invasion? really. Don’t you think also that inflammatory rhetoric it’s exactly what is going to fix it, because, you’ll are going to jail 9% of Italy’s population. How’s going to take the trash, and for that matter do all the jobs, Italians won’t do… it’s the same thing in all developed countries. Just remember when you buy cheap imported products that are made paying less than a dollar a day to laborers abroad, remember when you buy them, why they are pilling in your street.

  54. 79 JoAnne Perreault
    July 22, 2009 at 18:47

    It is not unusual for human nature to react in an “animal” manner when situations become extreme. I am not living in Italy, I do know that this problem is not new.
    There has been a growing discord that is based in both economic and social culture. That being said, rights!! Yes. But what of the rights of the native citizens, the legal immigrants? The resources of any society are finite.
    This is an over reaction yes. But at the core is an unresolved issue.
    I think the larger picture must be examined.
    There has been mention of the degradation of suddenly unfortunate persons in the US, at the same time that many who are hard working citizens in need of a little assistance/ someone who is here illegally is receiving housing education and medical care at no cost!! Is that just? It is sad, and unresolved sadness manifests itself as anger.

  55. 80 Me.
    July 22, 2009 at 18:47

    hi Madaline,,,,,,i did not get the email r……….

    This is a very sensitive issue.

    But isint it what has been happening over centuries. Earlier probably was for trade but no i guess it is more for survival now.

    Which european coutry has not done that ?

    To be a illigal immigrant there are alot a person has to give up.Family,,,,,, home,,,etc,,,,,,,,,not easy ,,,,how can we not have compassion ? and some oen who has given up so much wil play hard dont u think ?

  56. July 22, 2009 at 18:50

    Immigrants are what made the United States a great country. Countries need to be humanitarian and accept immigrants but also must help them become productive citizens and not burdens for welfare and medical care. No one should get something for nothing but there should be a way that the countries as well as the immigrants can thrive.

  57. 82 Matthew
    July 22, 2009 at 18:51

    I find it kind of ironic that Italians are taking such a hard line on illegal immigration when immigration to Italy seems to be so difficult in the first place, especially when hundreds of thousands of Italians immigrated to North America before World War 2 trying to escape the same sorts of situations the people trying to reach Italy are. While illegal immigration is a legitimate problem, the criminalization of the act of trying to improve one’s situation is fundamentally wrong. Such harsh measures liek the ones adopted in Italy will not solve this problem and only serve to make the lives of the already disadvantaged even harder.

  58. 83 Jason
    July 22, 2009 at 18:54

    I think that the answer for illegal immigration, as far as the U.S. is conserned, actually has a easy answer. The Immigration and illegal workers come to the states in search of jobs, jobs that ARE here. Under paid , low skilled, maual labor. If we rid the states of these jobs then we would rid the states of a flood of illegal workers sapping our system. I propose the only way to do this is not raise prices or even open boarders, but to utilize a work force that is dorment. The jail system. Prisoners that deemed to owe society sit in cells with free education, free health care, free food and shelter when we pay for them to have the things wee cant have. Put them to work in the fields!!!!! Cheap labor, make them pay thier way….no jobs = no illegal workforce

  59. 84 Tom D Ford
    July 22, 2009 at 18:55

    A favorite right wing strategy when the economy goes bad because of their corruption, is to misdirect attention away from themselves and onto the least powerful, the immigrants, and promote draconian punishments for those least empowered. Just look at Germany in the 1930s. Hitler also promoted street gangs to search out and beat Jews, gypsies, gays, and the like.

    Shame on you, Italy!

  60. 85 Keith
    July 22, 2009 at 18:56

    The world is affected by a population and resource problem, acting as though developed countries shouldn’t be affected by this problem by shutting the rest of the world out is unrealistic, unsustainable, and selfish- especially considering that these countries are often the biggest consumers to begin with. Don’t worry, there will always be wealth to be made for the educated and ambitious.

  61. 86 steve
    July 22, 2009 at 18:56

    Your guest blaming the Italian government for any crimes he might commit becaues he cannot legally work, would be like me blaming my creditors for causing me to rob a bank so I could pay off my student loans. Really a silly argument.

  62. 87 María, Buenos Aires
    July 22, 2009 at 18:58

    The irony in this matter is that one century ago we were glad to receive inmigrants. They were unemployed, with no money, and they were escaping from war and famine….but they were europeans. The Government took measures to welcome Europeans because of their culture, regardless their economic status in their home country. I know this, cause my ancestors were all Italian. For this, I’m an Italian citizen too, but if I wasnt, would Italy receive me? I dont think so…its quite ironic considering that these lands embraced Europeans first.
    The issue here is racism. They dont want other races with different cultures to mix. It happens here with Paraguayans, Boliveans, Peruvians…
    To think that the cultural future of the country includes the fusion of new nationalities is harsh to accept. Argentina is Spanish and Italian, but recently is also Korean, Brazilian….

  63. 88 Anthony
    July 22, 2009 at 19:02

    @ Chrissy in Portland

    Once again, you’re from portland. You’ve never hung out with the illegals in L.A. I have. They are given privileges for breaking the law.

    Have you ever met a person her who risked everything to get here and have a baby, just because they know how to manipulate the system? I have. I stand by my words.

    If an illegal comes into an E.R. and has a baby, gets a broken leg fixed, etc, they leave with a smile and sometimes with a golden ticket to citizenship if they had a kid. I would leave with a big ol’ bill.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 89 patti in cape coral
      July 23, 2009 at 13:52

      Actually, that is not true. Parents have been separated and sent back to their country of origin in spite of having had a child in the US. Having a child in the US does not guarantee you can stay here.

  64. 90 Keith
    July 22, 2009 at 19:04

    On another note, the smart and ambitious will start economic ventures in undeveloped countries with unclaimed/cheap natural resources and lax labor laws. Just kidding.

  65. 91 walkerny
    July 22, 2009 at 19:05

    The obvious never gets discussed, the “third world” countries should right size their families and not export it’s excess humanity. If foreign aid were tied to reaching these goals, that aid would find smaller stable populations easier to help and advance.

    There is no “right” to emigrate to another country, and no country has a right to continuously overpopulate both itself and the world.

  66. 92 Tom D Ford
    July 22, 2009 at 19:12

    According to the anthropologists, all humans emigrated out of Africa to all over the world.

    Lucy was the first “native”. All the rest of us are migrants.

    Even Native Americans walked here (the US) from somewhere else.

  67. 93 Karan
    July 22, 2009 at 19:12

    Italy is taking the first hard steps to say that illegal immigrants cannot take things for granted . Its correct that people hopping off a plane with visit visas cannot claim the right to stay just because their home countries are “not right”
    It is however the responsibilty of every rich country to rub-off its formula on its neighbours and help them become better places to live.

  68. July 22, 2009 at 19:17

    It is opportunity of a life time to discover root cause of these phenomenon
    In lieu of life time delay.This is in pursuit by media and those who in the past 4 decades collect valid info then they are participating and keeping info for themselves.BBC in particular are creating what they are creating i.e.See what happens next? This is evil step and evils media people what they are doing with their respective politicician who with holding info have created such live torture live issue they desire to continue they hide for their own self pleasure.

  69. 95 Tony
    July 22, 2009 at 19:27

    Easy – send the illegals back immediately – PLUS – stop taking in the educated and wealthy from the third world – these are the very people needed to help educate and bring the 3rd world up in the world.

    All we do is keep the illegals in camps awaiting deportation, or they live in the underworld and are exploited.

    The rich, however, are welcome after all it means we can have all the doctors and nurses and IT etc. whilst the 3rd world lack the experts to improve their lot

  70. 96 patti in cape coral
    July 22, 2009 at 19:30

    I am thankful that the first people my husband met when coming to the US were kind, helpful, and good people. Sometimes whether you like it or not, and sometimes unknowingly, you become a representative of your country, and measuring by this standard, my husband has never had anything but good things to say about the US.

  71. 97 fabio ricci
    July 22, 2009 at 19:48

    Moreover, the main article says:

    Italy has recruited medical staff into the fight against illegal immigration: doctors are now authorised to inform the authorities if they see a patient without legal papers. Is it to bring doctors and nurses into it?

    And what about citizen patrols? Would you be happy to see unarmed groups of citizens helping to patrol around your home in order to keep the peace, and keep away illegal immigrants?

    Well: the first statement is FALSE. Medical staff is NOT compelled to inform authorities of illegal people ( and, of course, like any other citizen if you see something ILLEGAL you CAN advice the authorities ).

    The second statement is false, too: citizen patrols are intended to keep away criminals, NOT immigrants.

  72. 98 John
    July 22, 2009 at 19:56

    What I would like to ask the immigrants is ‘how would you feel if foreigners came and filled your streets in your home countries?’

    I am from uganda and I spent 10 years in Milano, first as a student and then working, all legally. In fact, I had the opportunity to become an Italian citizen but preffered to return home.

    I agree with the new laws and actually think they don’t go far enough. Italy, like any other country, needs to protect itself from people who don’t add value.

    Kick them out and send tem back where they belong!


    Kampala, Uganda

    Sent from my iPhone

  73. 99 T
    July 22, 2009 at 20:49

    Look at the reason(s) why the people left their home country. If you literally feel like you have nothing and nothing to lose, then what do you do? Do you stay there and say this is my role in life? So deal with it (and probably die)? Or, do you go for a better life?

    There’s the law. And there’s reality.

  74. 100 T
    July 22, 2009 at 20:52

    Take any person who says they support tough immigration laws. If the worst happened to them and they lost everything, every single one of them would do anything it took to survive.

    So who’s being the hypocrite about immigration?

  75. 101 REid in USA
    July 22, 2009 at 21:27

    I am simply pleased that this discussion is taking place, and it is being done in a civil manner. While I can’t say I agree with a host of the opinions stated, or that I have the experience and political back-knowledge available to present a truly educated solution, this forum is refreshing and informative.

    Keep. Talking. And. Searching. for an answer.

  76. 102 deryck/trinidad
    July 22, 2009 at 21:32

    It’s ironic that many Italians were at one time legal and illegal immigrants and they wanted someone to take them in.

    This situation shows that all men are equal and will react the same way to immigrants in their country who are perceived to be taking jobs, creating a negative sub-culture and causing crime.

  77. 103 Jim Newman
    July 22, 2009 at 22:30

    Hello again
    Having lambasted the Italian governement for their new laws against illegal immigrants I suppose it is incumbent upon me to answer this question in a coherent manner.
    For those who take money for smuggling humans these humans are purely a merchandise. When people are caught smuggling drugs society does not punish the drugs but the smugglers.
    I think the answer is not to punish the immigrants but to punish the those who smuggle them.
    Each country has a network of agents in other countries whose job it is to trap smugglers. In the case of drug smuggling an agent could pretend to be a dealer. In the case of human smuggling an agent could become an illegal immigrant.
    The methods used to bring the smugglers to justice could be handing them over to the local authorities or others. These methods would not stop human smuggling but it would cut it down drastically.
    PS It’s the message rather than the methods that is important.

  78. 104 Bert
    July 22, 2009 at 23:21

    As to unarmed groups of citizens patrolling the streets, that’s scary stuff. At least, it is at first blush.

    To make the plan appear less demonic, let us compare this to the “neighborhood watch” patrols in many neighborhoods in the US. Are these neighbors considered to be vigilantes by the rest of us? In the Latin meaning of the word, of course yes. In the pejorative English interpretation, of course no. Where do we draw the line? What is the implementation of this idea going to look like in Italy? Italians are not known for the sort of activity we think of when we say “vigilante” in English. So let’s not immediately jump to conclusions.

  79. 105 RightPaddock
    July 23, 2009 at 02:29

    The EU’s problem is that the “inner states” always want to leave (hence blame) the problem to the “front line” states.

    As usual in immigration we see the EU at its shining best, solidarity’s great when it comes to defining the length and curvature of a “legal banana”, but when it comes to the “hard” issues like immigration, hypocrisy rules the day.

  80. 106 Dennis Junior
    July 23, 2009 at 03:32

    Is it to bring doctors and nurses into it?

    I think it is an acceptable and approriate policy to do it….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  81. 107 Tan Boon Tee
    July 23, 2009 at 06:05

    People emigrate to search for greener pastures and better livelihood. Most of them are the poor from developing countries, while some others have high qualifications and skills.

    It would be hard to stop the global wave of immigration, many illegal, especially in this hard time, and they are most likely to be sent back to their countries of origin.

    For the time being, there isn’t seemed to be any amiable solution at hand. Since foreign aids would be hard to come by, and a sizeable number of nations are either corrupt or economically weak, people just have to endure whatever hardships they have been facing until a better day in the future.

    The only question is IF there is a better future, and WHEN.

  82. 108 benedict
    July 23, 2009 at 07:18

    All of the fuss over illegal immigrants. And more and more keep flowing in. I cant say i completely agree with the approach the Italians are taking. Im certain they have their good reasons for doing what they are doing. . Im from the US; Where is the attention and consideration to the Indigenous peoples of America. In many parts of the US, their are no Indigenous people or you have to dig deep and look hard to find them. And thats very sad! In their place you’ll find whites, blacks, asians, latinos. In my opinion that is unacceptable I grew up in a very white community. The only Native person i knew of, was in a text book. And my exposure to other ethnicities was the few black families that lived in my town. If i went to the city the majority minority group was blacks or enthnicly mixed blacks. Where were the Native Americans? illegal immigration? The Native Americans have had illegal immigration forced upon them since the first european explorers came here.

  83. 109 Ann
    July 23, 2009 at 09:34

    @Anthony – ” They need to somehow be branded if they are put through our prision system.”

    Even if you meant this tongue in cheek (and to be frank I’m not sure that you did) I am still horrified that you said it. The Holocaust is still very much a part of our collective consciousness and the numbers branded on the victims were a degrading symbol of the way in which the Nazis dehumanized real flesh and blood human beings.

  84. July 23, 2009 at 10:09

    Italy is correct. My suggestion is that we give people work pemits for the jobs for which we need people. We should pay them that same wage for the same skills as nationals receive. We then make it posible for people to make money to send home to their families and for them to save and improve their lives in their own countries where they can return and be replaced by others who need a leg up. We will not then have the costly expense associated with family reunification and the drain on our healthcare systems and other services these programs use at a huge cost to the taxpayer. It might be easier to track people if they have to show that they have a work permit and are entitled to be in the country. We seem to feel that falling populations in the developed world require governments to replace those falling populations with immigrants. There has alawys been difficulty accepting immigrants and unless we all change dramatically and become buddhists this predudice will continue. I feel that Darwin’s theory the survival of the fittest is our reality and this will win out in the end ,as continue to manipulate the world population with immigration and bandaid aid solutions and overpopulate to the point of no return. Often the people who make it into the developed countries have money and connexions; the poorest continue to suffer terribly while our ‘bandaid’ continues to line the pockets of corrupt officials. Why when we know this, do continue to waste out taxpayers money appeasing our guilt for past mistakes. So we see ,What goes around comes around. The sins of the father are indeed visited on the sons. The sooner we realise we are all one the less avaricious we will bcecome. Finally we should not feel bad if we have to be fingerprinted for security reasons; if we have nothing to hide why do we care. thanks bernadette Nairobi

  85. 111 Heli-Skier
    July 23, 2009 at 10:31

    “After centuries of exploitation immigrants from third world countries are migrating to rich first world countries.”

    Are these people really over 200 years old ? Why did the programme ignore this point ?

  86. 112 deryck/trinidad
    July 23, 2009 at 10:56


    The reasons for big families in some african countries is

    1. survival is labour intensive hence the need for more kids to do farming.

    2. children are seen as a blessing especially boys.

    3. ignorance regarding birth control.

    4. religious beliefs e.g. catholicism.


    FOREIGN AID AS DISBURSED BY THE IMF AND WORLD BANK HAS ALSO CONTRIBUTED TO CITIZENS LEAVING AFRICA because of Structural Adjustment Policies(SAP’s) renamed Poverty Reduction Growth Facility(PRGF) IN THE 2000’s.

  87. July 23, 2009 at 10:57

    Humanity is a binding concept that was instigated an aon ago, from time immemorial. Irrespective of our skin colour,race,religious affiliations and political camps we cherish, we are bound to one humankind.Its quite appalling to hear what is happening in Italy today.These are quite retrogressive and barbaric codes of Law that Italy aim at imposing on foreigners…its debasing.The whole thing is a sham full of antiquated ideas; the question is: Should the World pay the Italians in the same coin?I remain VKELVIN of Makerere University Kampala Uganda.

  88. 114 Ann
    July 23, 2009 at 11:18

    As much as I love Italian food, I think I might not buy it again as a protest against the inhumane treatment of ‘illegal’ immigrants.

  89. 116 serunkuma
    July 23, 2009 at 13:28

    italy is wrong ,first and foremost i believe that no one would like to leave his family friends and go to a place where no one knows you and second to racist country ,those people you see have already lost hope so they are lookinking for help,its unfortunate that where they run for sanctualy is the other way round,
    to impose tax on some who is not working is sending him to commit acrime,
    i suggest that italy should examine the consquences before implimenting that tax law,

  90. 117 Maurice in Portland Oregon
    July 23, 2009 at 14:13

    Tom D Ford and others.

    Migrating to a geographical area on earth or another planet which is NOT inhabited is colonizing because its assumed ties with the community from which the people came will remain. Migrating to a geographical area on earth or another planet over the objections of the people who currently inhabit that geographical area or planet is an invasion. Whether such an invasion is by a single person, a couple, a family, or at a sustained level by such single persons, couples, or families to constitute millions over time.

    Once such invading groups establish a “beach head” such that communities of such invaders are effectively established, its extremely difficult to identify and remove them. Unfortunately, the constitution of the U.S. has the unintended consequences of providing protection to this process which encourages and feeds its growth.

    You may rest assured that ultimately, the invaders have already won. They have forced a change in the very culture of the U.S. through sheer numbers. I can only imagine how Mexico would have reacted if the situation were reversed given Mexico;s treatment of “invaders” on their souther borders.

  91. 118 deryck/trinidad
    July 23, 2009 at 14:37


    I agree the idea is idealistic. But IMF and World Bank (proxy for G7)policies have negatively influenced African development. Check it out. You’ll be surprised.

    • 119 RightPaddock
      July 25, 2009 at 01:14

      @deryk/trinidad – maybe the WB & IMF have effected Africa negatively; but not to the extent of the Mugabe’s, Mobutu’s, arap Moi’s, Mengistu’s, Gaddafi’s and Idi Amin’s.

  92. 120 Tom K in Mpls
    July 23, 2009 at 16:31

    In my view, there are two main reasons for illegal immigration. One is political and the big one is money. As for political, I have no good ideas. But as for money, that is easy. The immigrants come to make money, so deny them jobs. This is easy to do and is self financing. Simply fine anyone hiring an illegal alien heavily for each illegal employee each time they are caught. This way nobody will be able to afford to hire them and the work goes to citizens or goes away.

    Some industries are not economically viable without the equivalent of slave labor. Our economies need to reevaluate them just the same as our energy consumption.

  93. 121 patti in cape coral
    July 23, 2009 at 17:17

    Sad that even the equivalent of slave labor is preferable to what a person can find in their own country.

  94. 122 Elikem in Ghana
    July 23, 2009 at 19:33

    The program is a bit harsh. But you can’t blame the italian government, much less the illegal immigrants many of whom are escaping the nightmare of devastating poverty and conflict-torn homelands.Just pressure the third world countries the way
    everyone’s pressuring iran,tell them to put their house in other and give aid to those who need it most

  95. 123 Tom D Ford
    July 23, 2009 at 19:58

    @ Maurice in Portland Oregon
    July 23, 2009 at 14:13

    “…I can only imagine how Mexico would have reacted if the situation were reversed given Mexico;s treatment of “invaders” on their souther borders.”

    Read the Howard Zinn “Peoples History of the US”. The US did invade Mexico and the Mexicans did react in the battle of the Alamo.

    The California State University system wrote a history of what the Americans did to the Mexican Californios, invading their lands and taking over their Haciendas.

    Did you know that the US stole the entire US southwest from Mexico? The Mexicans were there long before US white people invaded their lands, so it is very humorous to me that white Americans gritch about the “Browning of America”, while apparently ignorant of the previous “Whiting of Northwest Mexico. Just look at all the Mexican geographic names in the southwest, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Fernando Valley, New Mexico, the Sangre De Cristo Mountain range, the high Sierras, San Diego, Montecito, Colorado, California, Nevada, etc, they were all brown long before they turned white..

  96. 124 NSC London
    July 24, 2009 at 15:11

    As someone who has utilized “illegal” immigrants several times as employees, I’m a bit conflicted. In the US, if you are involved in farming or the horse business it is nearly impossible to find a US citizen willing to work for minimum wage (I’ve never paid less and often paid more) to Mexican and Central American immigrants to do difficult farm labour. Honestly, we yanks just aren’t cut out for it, we’re all pretty soft and lazy these days, myself included. While there are many people willing to exploit these workers there are also many who legitimately need them and who are able to pay wages that make the work useful to the immigrant workers. The amount of money illegal immigrants send home to Mexico each year is greater than the annual GDP of Mexico! I can’t speak for Italy as I haven’t visited yet, but implementing such a plan in the US would hurt not only the US economy but the workers and their families.

  97. 125 M. Kasteel
    July 24, 2009 at 21:13

    Give all illegal immigrants harsh labour camps, 20-30 years, and see how quick they will leave the country they have invaded. If someone is illegal in North Korea for ten seconds the punishment already will be severe, years of forced labour.

  98. July 25, 2009 at 11:27

    Every nation on earth is a nation of immigrants. To deny free movement of peoples is to deny any nation’s history and a source of its progress. I myself am here today because of my ancestors taking to a boat from Norway in the 10th Century and combining with other ancestors who crossed the Rhine in the 5th Century.

  99. July 25, 2009 at 16:06

    if african leaders could only rebrand africa by creating jobs,fight against corruptions,mentain our moral standards n dignity and finally make africa a better place alll this shame and disgarce faced by africans in european countries will never take place.we are so blessed and the whites are not better than us.is just that we have mismanaged our resources that is why we are suffering plssssssssss african leaders try n do something about this.the disgrace is tooooooo much to bare.How long are we going to be beggers. and as for guys over there come back home pls.better come back n farm n have your freedom than be out there sleeping in cold where nobody cares about u n treat u like a pig in the name of greener pastures,.europe is not paradise they also have thier own problems.pls come home if u no things are not better fro u out there.

  100. 128 T
    July 26, 2009 at 23:51

    One way NOT to do it. Deport everyone who’s “illegal.” In this global depression, what country can do that? Also, if they leave then who’s going to do the dirty jobs? One minute the majority can’t be bothered. So the underclass does it. But when things get desperate, suddenly they’re good enough to do it? Isn’t that slightly hypocritical?

  101. 129 deryck/trinidad
    July 27, 2009 at 11:11


    You are absolutely correct WB and IMF aside there is also a crisis of leadership.

    But then the more intriguing question to ask is

    What economic, social and psychological conditions created these dictators OR were they born dictators?

  102. 130 deryck/trinidad
    July 27, 2009 at 11:45

    @kuku lucy

    I use to think that a vast majority of poor countries mismanaged their resources and that was the main reason for them being imisserated, but then through research I came to a different understanding.

    The chief reason for poverty is globalization and its accomplices free trade and privatization implemented under the auspices of the World Bank, IMF and other aid institutions.

    They used austere measures such as Structural Adjustment Programs(SAP’s) now called Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility(PRGF) in order to cripple and undermine the social fabric of poor countries thus preventing the development of sustainable business models.

    Instead developing plantation economies in poor countires that depend on one, two or three commodities for their GDP.

    At the same time coercing the poor to privitize and free the market hence the presence of many multinational companies inpoor countries who control vital commodities like electricity and water. e.g Nigeria, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Argentina.

  103. July 27, 2009 at 14:45

    If the world is a global village and one community,the tag illegal immigrants must not apply.Europeans were the first to invade Africa and other not too developed worlds, tapping their resources and shipping people across to Europe in the name of slave trade to work in plantations and mini industries. Needless to mention that immigration forced or otherwise contributed to the development of Europe through cheap labor, it will therefore, amount to injustice if the same people are denied right of entry in this pay back period.

    Provided the immigrants are hard working,law abiding and do not constitute threat to orderliness and peace of their host communities, please let them be. The alternative is for developed countries to get committed to developing the third world also.

  104. 132 Maurice in Portland Oregon
    July 28, 2009 at 05:18

    Apparently this is primarily an emotional issue because a great deal of logic or reasoning seems to have disappeared. THERE IS NO JUSTICATION FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. You cannot invoke history, seeking a better life, economic poverty, economic gains, immigrants doing low wage jobs citizens will not do, on and on. Humanity is believed to have begun in Africa. If this is true, everyone is an immigrant in one form or another outside of Africa. The citizens of a recognized geographical area has the right to determine who will live among them and under what conditions they must compy to do so. Whether or not we or anyone agree with these conditions is a mute point. The only debt any nation has to citizens of another geographical area or country are the debts they willingly accept. Guilt, anger, illogical justifications, shame, pleas, hard luck stories, etc do not justify illegal immigration or invasion of another country.

    According to this logic, I have every right to invade, excuse me, immigrate into the home of wealthier citizens provided I do some type of labor. I can clean and dust or cook for a hell of a lot less than they are paying their current staff. Look out Bill Gates, you are about to have an addition to your household whether you want it, like it, or even can afford it.

  105. 133 scmehta
    July 28, 2009 at 07:49

    Can you,altogether, root-out corruption from the public life and/or systems? If you can, then obviously there will be no illegal immigrants; and if you cannot, then the best way would be to hold such immigrants accountable by issuing them with compulsory I-Cards and then deciding their cases on merits.

  106. February 17, 2010 at 21:14

    Very well written comments.Certainly, we all want humans to be treated as such.Unfortunately the earth´s riches are finite,limited and the populations have developed differently.The present situation is such that the developed nations have created methods to enhance agricultural output by sophisticated genetics, soil chemistry,fertiliser
    production and thus energy input.This has so far enabled to nurish also those populations (Third world) who multiply at the rate of 4%/a i.e.doubling all 20 years !Growth in African and other slums and infighting leads to emigration.Italy,France,Spain offer coast lines where the boats arrive.-Yet in the industrial countries multiplication is at a low point of just 1%/a or doubling in more than 100 years.(a more realistic rate in view of the limited planet´s riches).If humanity does not come to a world directorate (a better UNO)which can prorate population growth for all areas,in line with their contribution to the benefit of all of humanity,we will unfortunately extend slum-life and misery over the whole earth.
    Consider that energy input for agriculture is now going over the
    energy (kalories) output!- But even solar-,wind- and ocean waves- energy require energy to be built and a good part of knowledge.
    If the progressive part of world populations eliminates itself, we might come back to primitive times or even to an Armageddon.
    But since that time humanity has grown by a factor of over 1000,–
    Emigration to another nice planet is unfortunately very, very remote
    probably really impossible. (though there are certainly other human like living organics in the universe)

  107. February 19, 2010 at 22:05

    addendum: There are in fact only limited, basic materials on earth, like oil,many metals, basic elements etc.Early world population was limited due to the simple fact that the “hunter-gatherer” populations limited themselves with a high mortality. Since then,humanity has progressed in the Northern Zones and since 1400,with the industrial techniques beginning, to exploit all useful raw materials, use oil,coal and gas for energy and introduce technologies to improve human life.
    Some progress was made in China but much slower.Now humanity has grown exponentially and the Northern industrially developed states support the underdeveloped and often slum areas with scientifically produced corn and other food from their scientific agrotechniques with an enormous input of energy in the form of machinery,fertilizer,genetic techniques etc,.As the Third World grows at 4%/a while the developed areas grow only by 1%/a and less,there will soon be a complete take over by the former.(doubling in 20 years against doubling in 100 years)
    If they would not have developed also to a science based technical society to this point, poor mankind will see the Armageddon of the Bible.The earth riches are final and emigration to other planets is,I guess, out of the question. – Is brain development sufficient to make this clear to humanity?? Can a better UNO make earth plans?

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