The Mayor of Rome has called for a suspension of migration into Italy’s capital after what she called “a continued influx of foreign citizens” has left the city unable to provide further accommodation.
Mayor Virginia Raggi, a member of the populist 5-Star Movement, says it is “impossible, as well as risky to think up further accommodation structures” in a letter to Italy’s interior ministry, according to Italy’s ANSA wire service.
She said that there is currently a “strong migratory presence in the capital” as well as a “continual flow of foreign citizens”.
Foreigners in Rome constitute 12.7 per cent of the city’s population, higher than the national rate of 8.3 per cent, and Romania was the country with the highest number of immigrants in the city.
Reuters reports that more than half a million immigrants have arrived in Italy from North Africa since 2014, with nearly 200,000 being housed in state-funded accommodation. Italy has been one of the main European entry points for African migrants – particularly from Libya.
“This administration hopes the decisions about where to put new centers will take into account the evident pressure migration is putting on Rome, and the consequences which may be devastating socially and for the protection of the people they are built for,” Raggi said in the letter to the interior ministry.
Raggi’s administration has also previously sought to dismantle Roma camps surrounding the cities.
The move comes after the 5-Star Movement performed poorly in local elections on Sunday, failing to reach the run-off in any of the country’s main cities. The 5-Star movement’s increase in popularity in 2016 was seen as one of the signs of a populist wave sweeping Europe and the U.S. in partial response to the European migrant crisis.
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Breitbart News based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY