Populist Italian Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, has claimed that just 15 per cent of the illegal immigrants who came to Italy in 2021 were granted refugee status and more than half were denied asylum.
Salvini, who has made illegal migration one of his top priorities ahead of next month’s national election, stated that in 2021, 56 per cent of the 52,987 asylum requests made last year were rejected by Italian authorities.
The League leader said to rejections come “despite the fact that the left has reintroduced special and humanitarian protections to offer shortcuts to those who land in Italy,” and added, “only 8,107 people have received refugee status: 15% of the total applications examined,” newspaper Il Giornale reports.
Salvini personally visited the island of Lampedusa this week, which has been overwhelmed with illegal migrant arrivals and its reception centre, which is meant to house 350 people at a time, has been home to as many as 1,800.
Italy: July Saw More Illegal Migrant Arrivals Than Entire Year of 2019https://t.co/8YC57wUWUz
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 3, 2022
Salvini has previously blamed Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese, a member of the left-wing Democratic Party (PD), for the situation and called it “a shame of the Democratic Party: we can’t wait to turn the page, thanks to the vote of the Italians on September 25th.”
During 2018 and 2019 Salvini served as Interior Minister and his tough policies, which saw migrant taxi NGO ships banned from Italian ports, were credited with greatly reducing illegal immigration and reducing drowning deaths in the Mediterranean sea.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the number of illegal arrivals in the month of July this year alone totalled more than the entire year of 2019 with 13,197 migrants landing in Italy last month.
“In July of this year, we exceeded the landings recorded throughout 2019. We can’t wait to return to the government to take care of work, security, and defence of Italy,” Salvini stated and added, “We need a minister ready to defend the borders, we owe it out of respect for Italians in difficulty.”
Polls put Salvini’s League far behind their centre-right coalition allies, the national-conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI) led by social conservative firebrand Giorgia Meloni, who could become the country’s new Prime Minister.
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose Forza Italia is also a member of the centre-right alliance, stated that he was open to Meloni becoming Italy’s next leader, while foreign media like the Washington Post newspaper have attempted to link Meloni and her party to fascism.
Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has stated he is open to Italy being led by populist firebrand Giorgia Meloni. https://t.co/UzhGstXNfy
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 31, 2022