Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group
Italian politicians and the Italian-born children of immigrants are using MIPEX to support campaigns for automatic ius soli as in other European countries of immigration.
Is support building for citizenship reform?
Italian-born children of migrants can only declare themselves Italian after 18 years with legal registration and uninterrupted residence. Authorities, trying to introduce some flexibility, cannot overcome inevitable administrative problems. Knowing no other country but Italy as their own, Italian-born students are removed from classes according to new 30% non-citizens’ quota. Their residence is easily interrupted by spending too long with family abroad. MIPEX III: Italy
I’ve been thrilled to monitor how Italian legislators and immigrant youth themselves are using the MIPEX tool to campaign for automatic ius soli citizenship, following European-wide reform trends.
La Rete G2 – Seconde Generazioni is a national non-partisan network founded by the children of immigrants and refugees who were born and/or raised in Italy. They are promoting the results online after speaking and even filming at the MIPEX Italian debate, hosted by British Council Italy and ISMU. This movement of the second generation continues, with the recent debut of the first grassroots documentary on their struggle for citizenship. Check out the “18 Ius Soli” website, news, and–best of all–the trailer:
Italian politicians are also using MIPEX to support reform proposals. Italian MEP Potito Salatto of Gianfranco Fini’s centre-right party, Popolo della Libertà, wrote this
Writing for a foundation linked to Gianfranco Fini’s new centre-right party, Italian MEP Potito Salatto wrote that “Our proposed law on citizenship is in line with Europe” (excerpt below):
L’America, per esempio, che adotta il criterio dello ius soli, è il Paese più multietnico al mondo. Mentre lo ius sanguinis, così diffuso nel Vecchio Continente, non impedisce a ogni Stato di legiferare in modo diverso. E infatti, se si esclude l’Irlanda dove già vige lo ius soli, la Grecia, il Belgio, la Spagna, la Francia, la Germania e l’Inghilterra risultano molto più avanti rispetto alla nostra legislazione. Non a caso l’Italia, secondo il Mipex, occupa solo il quattordicesimo posto tra i 31 Paesi dove esiste il diritto di voto per gli stranieri, doppia cittadinanza e ius soli.
Volendo comparare il dato tricolore con quello delle altre nazioni europee, risulta inoltre che nel 2008 sono state registrate 135.117 mila acquisizioni di cittadinanza francese a fronte delle 40.902 nostrane. Di più: il 42% tra quanti sono nati nel Bel Paese, non riesce a diventare italiano anche quando compie i 18 anni.
The proposed law mentioned by MEP Salatto is the Sarubbi-Granata bill. Several bills have been proposed, following birthright citizenship trends in Europe, according to EUDO-Citizenship–the authoritative online observatory on citizenship. My Italian presentation and blog entry assessed Italy’s foreign residents and their children would see a slightly better future as Italian citizens if the Italy passed citizenship reform and caught up with other European immigration countries. My unofficial impact assessment compared the Sarubbi-Granata bill to legislation in other established immigration countries:
The Bill’s eligibility provisions resemble those in neighbouring Greece and Portugal, whose reforms helped them transform from countries of emigration to immigration. The procedures that once only benefited descendants of Italian emigrants would open immigrants who have learned basic Italian and to their children who know no other country than Italy as their home. The Bill’s conditions (39) and security (64) provisions draws on trends from the more restrictive Western European countries towards more integration requirements and more grounds for rejection.
Is support building for citizenship reform among the Italian public, politicians, and immigrants?
MIPEX users in Italy should let us know. The rest should keep following to find out.