More than 40,000 migrants who arrived in Italy this year have refused to be identified. Italian police say many choose to remain unknown hoping to move on to other EU member states.
Of the 122,000 migrants who have arrived in Italy so far this year, figures released by the Servizio di Polizia Scientifica (SPS) show only about 81,000 have agreed to be identified. Italy’s ANSA news agency reports that those refusing to undergo identification processes are mainly Eritreans, Somalis and Syrians according to SPS director Daniela Stradiotto. She explained:
“It’s technically impossible to force them to undergo photo and fingerprint identification.”
Identification is an important issue because of EU rules governing asylum applications. The ‘Dublin Convention‘ requires asylum-seeking migrants to identify themselves before applications can be processed.
Although certain aspects of the rule were suspended for Syrians in both Germany and the Czech Republic recently, the Convention demands applications are made in the first EU country migrants reach and that they remain in that country while being processed. As the migrant crisis grows that processing may take over a year to complete.
Rather than keeping to the rules, the Italian figures appear to show that migrants are instead electing to remain unidentified, hoping to move on to other EU member states where they perceive their future will be better.
Stradiotto spoke of how the police want reform, reports The Local, saying:
“Police are looking for new legal powers to hold migrants for 72 hours instead of the current 12 in order to try to force them to undergo identification.”
The importance of identification was reinforced this week with the news from Norway. As reported by Breitbart London, confirming the identity of one of the Kenyan shopping mall gunmen took two years because of false information given when he first entered Norway as a Somali migrant in 1999.