The mayor of Pisa proposes a programme of repatriation for Romanian immigrants. Within this programme the immigrants are expected to sign a contract stating that they will not come back to Pisa for the next 12 months.
The council would pay a bus to take all these immigrants to the same city in Romania and there they will receive a bonus that amounts to hundreds of Euros to live on when they arrive. In the meantime the "huts" where they used to live in Pisa will be destroyed.
This programme is one of the consequences brought by the new national laws on security and safety which grant extra powers to the mayors. In reality, even trying to reason within the terms of these neo-fascist characters, there is no "safety problem" in Pisa caused by immigrants. Statistics shows that the number of crimes is static. Therefore, behind the alarmist campaigns there is only the political wish to depict immigrants as criminals.
Increasing social marginalisation characterizes the lives of immigrants in Pisa. Research studies (done by the Pisa council in 2006) show that in the area of Pisa 10% of immigrants work more than 10 hours per day and one in four immigrants earns a wage of less than 500 Euros per month. Discrimination seems to rule also the housing market: many agencies would be willing to rent to an Italian but not to an immigrant.
Many Italians seem to use the same words to describe immigrants as the one used by Americans at the time of Italian emigration:
"They do not like water, many of them stink because they wear the same clothes for weeks.
They build huts made of wood and aluminium in the outskirts of the cities where they live, close ones to the others. When they manage to get to the city centre they rent crumbling flats.
They usually show up in two and usually look for a room with a kitchen. After few days, they become four, six, ten. Among them they speak languages impossible to understand, probably old dialects.
Many children are used to beg but often women dark dressed ad old men call for pity with laments in front of churches. They have many children that they cannot support and they are very close to each other.
They say they are devoted to burglary and, if opposed, they become violent. Our women avoid them not only because they are not good looking and salvages but because there are rumours about rapes that took place in street when women come back from work.
Our government opened too much our country to immigrants but, especially, they did not manage to select who get into our country to work and those who want to live a life of crime."
"I propose to grant the access to Lomardi and Venti, ignorant and very hard to understand but willing to work. They accept houses that Americans would refuse as long as the family is held together and they do not ask for better wages. The others, to those most of this description refers, come from the South of Italy. I suggest you to check their documents and repatriate the most. Our safety must be our first worry."
This text is an extract from a paper issued by the Immigration Inspectorate of the American Congress on Italian immigrants in United States, October 1912.
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Published firt on 07. Jun 2009 by :: libcom.org