Populist Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has released a sweeping migration decree that will see residency permits granted for humanitarian reasons scrapped and increased funding for deportation centres.
The new migrant decree, which was met with unanimous approval in the Italian cabinet, combines aspects of migration policy along with other security provisions to tackle far-left occupier activists and the Italian mafia, Il Giornale reports.
One of the main points of the decree is the scrapping of residency permits for humanitarian reasons to asylum seekers who do not qualify under the normal asylum rules.
The decree justifies getting rid of the residency permits saying that they are used much more liberally in Italy than in other countries and is set to replace the permits with new ones that will cover migrants who have specific health problems, those fleeing natural disasters in their home countries, and civil merit permits that can be converted into work visas.
Since promising to deport up to 500,000 illegal migrants earlier this year during the Italian election campaign, Salvini has worked on improving the country’s deportation system.
Italy's Salvini to Present Deportation Plan: ‘More Immigrants Equals More Delinquents’ https://t.co/6iDEwYVUua
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 8, 2018
The new decree will see €500,000 ($590,000) put into a repatriation fund this year for voluntary deportations, with the amount increasing to 1.5 million euros in 2019 and 2020.
The government will also increase the scope of forced repatriation centres and migrants can be held in these new centres for up to 180 days — double the previous 90-day limit.
On the security side of the decree, migrants with Italian citizenship who engage in terrorist activities could have their citizenship revoked and measures against the mafia could see organised criminal groups clamped down upon, as Salvini plans to increase staff at the National Agency for the administration and destination of assets seized and confiscated from organised crime (ANBSC).
The decree also targets far-left occupy activists as well as Roma squatters by granting police more powers to counter squatting including the ability to wiretap those thought to be involved in occupations.
Deputy Prime Minister Luigi di Maio, leader of the Five Star Movement and Salvini’s coalition partner, was somewhat cautious on the decree saying: “There are points (in the bill) that are not in the government programme and so will be discussed in parliament.”
The new policy comes after Salvini blocked migrant rescue ships from Italian ports and as a result, has greatly increased in popularity throughout the country with polling data showing his party, the League, consistently the most popular in Italy.