The Italian Government will approve this Monday the opening of new repatriation centers for irregular immigrants and the extension of the time that they can be held in them up to 18 months, in the midst of the crisis due to the arrival on the island of Lampedusa of more than 10,000 people in just a short time. three days.
The Council of Ministers of the far-right Giorgia Meloni is meeting to approve a decree-law that tasks the Ministry of Defense with the construction "as soon as possible" of the so-called CPR, centers where irregular immigrants await their expulsion, sources have told EFE. governmental.
In the country there are a dozen of these facilities spread between Turin, Rome, Bari and Brindisi, but the intention is to open at least one in each of the twenty-one Italian regions. The new CPR will be in localities with "low population density that can be easily delimited and monitored," according to Meloni herself.
On the other hand, the time in which irregular immigrants can be detained before their expulsion will be increased to 18 months, the maximum period allowed by the European Union.
"We will have all the time necessary not only to carry out the necessary investigations, but also to proceed with the repatriation of those who do not have the right to international protection," Meloni advanced at the beginning of the Council of Ministers. In the case of asylum seekers, the legislation does not change and they may stay for up to 12 months.
Meloni, which faces the arrival of almost 130,000 immigrants this year, had already announced last Friday this increase in retention times for irregular immigrants.
"I want to send a clear message to those who enter Italy illegally: it is not advisable to entrust yourself to human traffickers because they ask for a lot of money, they put you on boats that are often not prepared to make these trips and, in any case, if you enter Italy illegally You will be expelled and repatriated," he warned.
On the other hand, the Italian Government plans to approve new measures next week on unaccompanied minor immigrants.
The Executive is thus trying to manage the new wave of migration on its southern border, especially on the small island of Lampedusa, the southernmost Italian enclave, off the African coast.
With the numbers constantly evolving, so far this year 129,869 immigrants have arrived on Italian shores, almost double that of the same period in 2022 (68,195) and triple that of 2021 (43,265), according to data updated by the Ministry of Interior.
Meloni went to Lampedusa this Sunday with the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and she announced a European action plan to contain immigration, although the visit was called a "catwalk" by opponents and the islanders themselves.
"The presence of President Von der Leyen in Lampedusa has also been very important from a symbolic point of view. The presence of Europe in the confines most exposed to immigration underlines that this border is not only Italian, but also European," he praised this Monday Meloni in the Council of Ministers.
Although he has also stressed that he will "watch" so that the EU "quickly" disburses the investments promised to Tunisia, from where most of the boats that arrive in Italy set sail.