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Lower House gives definitive approval to migration package

Lower House gives definitive approval to migration package

Cutro law includes controversial restrictions to Italy's protection regime, makes it harder for beneficiaries to stay

ROME, 04 May 2023, 17:10

Redazione ANSA




Italy's Lower House on Thursday gave definitive approval to a package of measures to combat irregular migration introduced by the government after the February 26 shipwreck off Steccato di Cutro in Calabria that left 94 refugees and migrants confirmed dead.
    The provisions, initially set out in a decree law pending conversion by parliament into law with amendments, were approved with 179 votes in favour, 11 against and 3 abstentions.
    The so-called Cutro law includes controversial restrictions to Italy's protection regime for asylum seekers not qualifying for international protection. It also makes it more difficult for beneficiaries of protection under national law to remain in Italy legally once their permits have expired.
    In addition, the provisions introduce new penalties for migrant traffickers and new accelerated border procedures for asylum seekers coming from countries considered to be safe.
    The package also introduces important changes to Italy's two-tier reception system, with all asylum seekers with the exception of unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable categories, Ukrainians, Afghans and those arriving via the humanitarian corridor scheme now being accommodated in first-line reception centres often housing large numbers of people and under the new provisions now also offering a more limited range of services for the duration of the refugee status determination procedure; and beneficiaries of international protection being accommodated in the second-line 'widespread' reception system run at municipal level and facilitating local integration and integration.
    The law represents the second clamp-down on migration enacted by the government of Premier Giorgia Meloni after it introduced new rules restricting migrant search and rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean targeting NGOs.
    Italy has been grappling with a significant rise in the number of sea arrivals in recent months, with 42.405 arrivals since the start of 2023 compared to 11.226 over the same period in 2022 and 10.616 in 2023.


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