ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s populist government on Monday escalated its clampdown on irregular immigration with a decree aimed at slashing the number of people awarded asylum and doubling the time irregular migrants can be detained.
The legislation promoted by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who leads the far-right League party, comes as boat arrivals plummet and the minister refuses to allow charity ships carrying rescued migrants to dock in Italy’s ports.
“This is a step toward making Italy safer,” Salvini tweeted.
The League, which took power in June in coalition with the 5-Star Movement, has promised to deport hundreds of thousands of irregular migrants. Already, the move to refuse to let rescue boats dock has proven popular, doubling opinion poll support for the League since the election in March to more than 30 percent.
The Salvini Decree aims to limit the use of a form of international protection that has been widely used in recent years but is not strictly tied to political persecution or war.