Italy demands 5,000 euros from people whose right to asylum has been rejected to avoid being sent to a detention center

This financial guarantee is supposed to cover housing and living costs for a person for one month, as well as the cost of their repatriation in the event of their application being definitively rejected.

The measure was harshly criticized by the Italian left. Migrants whose right to asylum in Italy is rejected will have to pay a deposit of 5,000 euros or risk being sent to a detention center while their appeal is examined. This is what is provided for in a decree published in the official journal on Friday September 22.

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This financial guarantee of precisely 4,938 euros, described as “ransom” by the left-wing daily La Repubblica, is supposed to cover accommodation and living costs for a person for one month, as well as the cost of their repatriation in the event their application is definitively rejected. It will be required of people who have tried to evade border controls as well as those coming from a so-called “safe” country and who, in principle, cannot therefore claim asylum. If the applicant “disappears unduly”the deposit he paid will be taken, specifies the text.

This decree appears just a few days after the announcement by the far-right government of Giorgia Meloni of its intention to increase the maximum period of detention for rejected applicants to 18 months, compared to 40 renewable days currently (138 days maximum).

“Institutional human trafficking”

“A bank guarantee to be paid by migrants, if they have not drowned in the Mediterranean”, commented on X (formerly Twitter) the mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori (Democratic Party, left). He recalled in passing that Italy, between the end of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th, saw “24 million migrants [italiens] spread all over the world”.

The government “fills the boxes [de l’Etat] on the backs and despair of people”, regretted MP Emiliano Fossi, from the same party. Riccardo Magi, national secretary of the centrist Europa party, was ironic about what he describes as “institutional human trafficking”.

Since September 11, Italy has recorded more than 15,000 arrivals of migrants from the North African coasts to its shores, most of them landing on the island of Lampedusa, whose reception facilities have been overwhelmed. Since January, their number has been nearly 130,000, compared to 68,200 in 2022 over the same period, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

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