Published by Laura Marmorale | 05 / Jun / 2024

Criminal to whom?

Tales of hoaxes and mystifications about the Flussi decree

Twenty-two years. Exactly since 2002, the year in which the so-called Bossi-Fini law on immigration came into force, which, among other things, defined the flow decrees as we know them. Since then, we are told, lawyers, social movements, trade unions, religious and humanitarian organisations and operators in the sector have begun to denounce the shamefulness and uselessness of the flow decrees. A twisted and perverse mechanism that would make you smile if the lives of thousands of people were not at stake... and then, no, it only makes you angry! For 22 years, we have been persistently denouncing that it makes no sense to maintain a single regularisation mechanism whereby a person from a non-European country can only enter Italy with a visa linked to the promise of work from an Italian 'sponsor'.

It makes no sense that the Italian 'sponsor' (futurə employerə), who applies to employ an unknown person from any country in the world, is not checked (a measure introduced by the Meloni government to 'streamline' procedures).

It makes no sense that after the so-called 'clickday', the only day on which all regularisation applications for the flow decrees can be submitted, months go by before every single application is approved.

Above all, it doesn't make sense that in 70% of cases (throughout the country, President Meloni, not just in Campania!), when the application is examined, the famous sponsor can back out, leaving the non-EU person with an unusable visa and no chance of obtaining a work permit. And yes, if your sponsor withdraws and you have managed to find another employer in the meantime, Italian law does not allow you to replace the documents, just as it does not allow you to obtain a residence permit to wait for a job and submit a new application. No, you remain 'clandestine' on the national territory, having entered with a visa and a promise of work, for which you may even have paid!

It may be necessary to clarify this last point, because in many cases the buying and selling of promises of work is not necessarily carried out by organised crime (with best wishes to President Meloni, who finds it all too easy to conflate the South and the Camorra). No, in the majority of cases, those who offer themselves and ask for financial compensation for their efforts, only to escape at the last moment, are precisely those very local job seekers, small business owners, self-employed workers, "average Italians", in short, those who lend themselves to fomenting fraud and abuse against those who have little chance of defending themselves and therefore live under constant blackmail!

It would be enough to turn to any operator in the sector who has at least once helped migrants to take part in 'click days' throughout the country to hear stories of fraud and deception perpetrated by employers far removed from certified underworld environments! And it is a pity, really, that President Meloni has chosen the wrong place to lodge her complaint, because her complaint would have been in good company with those lodged in all the public prosecutor's offices in Italy, in all the police headquarters of the country (yes, even in Campania!) by lawyers, jurists, social actors, with testimonies and circumstantial evidence collected over two decades, not just in the last two years!

On the other hand, members of the Forum per Cambiare l'Ordine delle Cose (Forum for Changing the Order of Things) went to the Ministry of the Interior of President Meloni's government on 30 April to denounce, among many other things, precisely these data. Data collected by the dossier of the network 'Ero Straniero' (I was a foreigner) with what was published on the dashboard of the Ministry of the Interior. But it seems that in this government they have not had time to read. Otherwise they would have to explain why in 2023, the year the government itself studied, there were 462,422 applications in the click days, almost six times as many as the 82,705 places available. Who supervised? Who allowed such a surplus?

The data tell a lot to those who have the lucidity to read and interpret them all, as a whole, and not by extrapolating only those that serve in the final sprint of a bad election campaign or to continue a media battle with this or that regional president. The data clearly identify responsibilities that certainly cannot be blamed on migrants. The data clearly show that only a small proportion of the workers who enter Italy under the flow decrees manage to obtain a residence permit. The rest run the risk of remaining irregularly on the territory, if not directly excluded from these mechanisms, destined to marginality, exploitation, if not directly to detention and repatriation procedures!

For those who cannot even try the click day lottery, do not be afraid! There is always the possibility of going on board and trying your luck. But our government is already running for cover: today it is in Albania, tomorrow it will set up a new Sar zone in Tunisia, giving that country new patrol boats and us a story of death and despair that we have already seen in Libya. There is still a long way to go to defend human rights for all and to fight for just and anti-racist laws!

You will never get us where you want us to be!

Laura Marmorale, President of MEDITERRANEA Saving Humans

5th June 2024

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