Fall 2018 Immigration Research - Italy, Europe, and US -- 2nd wave

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Instructions for Posting Research

Posting format

  • Follow this pattern to post research results and links to this page:
  • Brief description of resource.
  • Link. "[" url space title "]"
  • Your real name


  • This article corrects some misinformation about immigration to Italy. (Pick some of the important facts/claims out of the article and include in this description to save us time.)

Page Organization and Research Advice

  • Please consider the research questions we raised at the end of the 1st wave of research in choose article and resources to post. The organizers should have posted some headings below to help you think about what to look for.
  • Don't post random things. Think about what we need to know to understand the issues. Look at the page and see what people are posting and try to think of information, opinion pieces, and scholarly articles that will help us.
  • Pull important information out of the article or resource to include in your brief description. Keep that description to about 3-7 lines of text.
  • Don't just do Google searches. Use some of the databases through the Foley Library to access authoritative and scholarly work as well.
  • Think about what heading to put your finding under. You can create headings by using pairs of "=" signs.

Second Wave of Immigration Research

Note from class organizers: Hi friends, The first wave of research pretty well covered the basic facts and figures of immigration in Italy along with some statistics for immigration elsewhere. We have quite a few articles related to major events and controversy (Italy's Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, came up a few times), as well as some information regarding the stances of Italian political parties. Some of you posted articles that discussed the social and economic impact that immigration has/could have in Italy, however there is definitely room to expand this section. For this second wave, we have made a few headings based on people's responses and questions after the first wave of research. There was particular interest regarding the role of social media and technology in the immigration issue, differences in opinion between age groups in Italy (for example, the responses of college age Italians to Immigration politics likely differs from the response of older generations), effects of stereotyping immigrants, and proposed strategies for handling immigration. At this point, it may also be valuable to bring in a couple of scholarship and opinion articles. These can be articles that express an opinion regarding immigration, but they should be written by educated individuals and should be peer reviewed. We have created a few headings to guide this wave of research. If you have a point of interest that is not covered below, please feel free to make a new heading at the bottom of the page and post relevant articles. Best of luck, Kaitlyn Caniglia and Daria Bianchini

The Role and Effects of the Media, Social Media, and Technology

What media forms have been used to spread immigration-related news? Have these been effective? How has the media shaped political opinion? Has social media made a positive or negative contribution to the discussion? Are there any specific news or media outlets that focus primarily on immigration? Does the media tend to portray immigrants and immigration in a positive or negative light?

  • This article illustrates the negative effects the media has on the public about immigrants. A majority of the news covered on immigrants are negative events or actions, such as illegal activities, which initially shifts individuals’ behaviors and perceptions towards immigrants. Social media creates dishonest stereotypes and opinions of immigrants, which generate obstacles for immigrants to overcome, such as being hired for employment, benefits from the government, and living in an environment of injustice. This article suggests a shift of individuals in power of social media to become more diverse, in order to create an honest representation of immigrants through their experiences and differing perspectives.
  • This article, written by Sewell Chan of The New York Times, focuses on a different aspect of social media and immigration. In March of 2018, it came out that the Trump administration was planning to require immigrants applying to come to the U.S. to submit five years of social media history. Along with their social media, visa applicants would also be asked for records such as: past passport numbers; phone numbers and email addresses; records of international travel; relative involvement in terrorist activities; and more. As part of an “extreme vetting” technique, this would affect nearly 15 million immigrants. This social media requirement would slow the immigration process down by making it more difficult to be accepted for a visa. This article highlights the concerns and criticisms of social media playing this role in immigration.
  • This article examines Italian media and its portrayal of immigrants throughout the years. Research suggests that the media tends to emphasize the negative impact immigrants have on italian society; recognizing immigration as a problem rather than a benefit. The article analyzes that the portrayal of immigrants in the media has remained stagnant throughout the years and continues to be focused on the immigrant as a dangerous and poor threat to Italian society. The media plays a large role in creating opinions and ideals within Italian citizens, and the lack of media representation on the positive effects and stories of immigrants will only continue the stereotypical idea of immigrants as “the other”.
  • [[1]]
  • Miranda Lawley
  • On October 7th, Matteo Salvini threatened to close airports after claims were made on social media that Germany was going to send rejected asylum-seekers to Italy on chartered flights. Salvini tweeted in response by saying, “If someone in Berlin or Brussels thinks of dropping dozens of migrants via non-authorized charter flights in Italy, they should know that there is not and there will be no airport available”. However, Germany’s interior ministry told a news outlet that these claims were false. Germany has taken in more than a million immigrants and have formed deals with Greece and Spain, countries that face immigration head on. However, Italy has not been welcoming to Germany’s deals.
  • [[2]]
  • Gracie Doherty

Opinion Differences between Age Group in Italy

Where do Italian adolescents stand on the immigration issue? Are there any social movements or groups created and supported primarily by young adults? How do their opinions and responsive actions differ from those of older generations? What has influenced and created these differences?

  • This article by the New York Times describes the actions and views of a right-wing political group who refers to themselves as "identitarians". The group mostly consists of 20-something year olds who deeply oppose the currently immigration situation in Italy. Their main concern is with the aid ships, who are coming under attack from the right-wing movement because of their suspected ties with human trafficking groups in Africa; however, the United Nations immigration agency called this argument "baseless" as there has be no evidence of this. Last year, this group attempted to block one of these aid ships, that was carrying supplies for Doctors Without Boarders) from sailing to Italy by sitting in a life raft in front of its path. Another tactic they use is YouTube, where they post defamatory videos showing "migrants" terrorizing towns. In an interview, a leader of the identitarins stated that "the aid ships become a magnet for more immigration, and that they end up benefiting smugglers and mobsters who exploit reception centers, all the while costing more lives by drawing more migrants into the water".
  • Madeline Hunter

Immigrant Stereotyping vs. Reality

What stereotypes exist regarding immigrants to Italy? Are these stereotypes accurate, or have they been exaggerated? A common stereotype that came up in questions was that influx of immigrants results in higher crime rates. Also, how have immigrants responded to stereotyping and negative attention? Have there been any historical events or trends in Italy's past that has lead to the stereotypes present today? Do other European countries tend to share these same stereotypes of immigrants?

  • The article "Welcome to Italy: this is what a real immigration crisis looks like", paints of picture of immigrants filling several stereotypes that many people hold about them. Nicholas Farrell, the author, takes a rather aggressive tone and stance on the issue of the immigrants that are coming into Italy. The typical stereotype of immigrants across many different countries, including the US and Italy, is that immigrants are going to come into the country and use up all of its resources. In this article, Farrell uses statistics of just how many resources the immigrants use to prove that exact point. He then takes it a step farther to equate the immigrants seeking asylum in Italy from Northern Africa, to the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940. He continually states how the immigrants that do come in don't want to do anything for themselves and are just in the country for the free stuff. Overall this article's opinion/stance is not one I agree with in the aggressiveness of it and the poor light it shines on people who come to Italy in need of real help.
  • [3]
  • Bridget Foster
  • This article discusses the issue that many are concerned with immigrants coming into their country and taking all of their jobs. While this is a valid concern, the article explains that a majority of the migrants coming into Italy already have family living here with their employment already established. This means that the new immigrants are not entering the country in search of a place to work since one or more of their family members already hold a position. According to the research done for this article, 1 out of 10 of the immigrants coming into Italy are over 75 years old. Italian citizens have no reason to worry about immigrants creating a negative effect on their pensions. In fact, over 600,000 Italians have the immigrants to thank for their pensions. Even though many are worried that the migrants would be bad for business the effect has actually been the opposite. Immigration has helped many firms stay in business and without immigrants many of the businesses we see in Italy today would no longer be around.
  • This article talks all about Italian immigration and the preconceived notion that many refugees turn out to be criminals. This article disputes this false idea and states hard facts, percentages, and charts which support the concept that the majority of migrants come to Italy for peaceful reasons. The London School of Economics reported that "58%" of Italians surveyed were afraid of immigration and "60%" were scared to continue living in their city despite that crime has decreased by "25% between 2006 and 2017 across all regions of Italy". This article talks about some of the issues that we have discussed in class, including how Italy's Prime Minister is portraying refugees and immigrants as dangerous and have come to Italy for criminal reasons, even though "the average crime rate among foreigners has decreased by around 65% between 2006 and 2017." This portrays that there is a huge difference between stereotypes and realities in terms of immigrants in Italy at the moment, and the leadership behind Italy is pushing the wrong ideas.
  • Mark Bechtel
  • The main points presented in this article are that in the small little Italian town of Lori the mayor, Sara Casanova, implemented laws that encourage segregation in schools. The laws put in place by Casavona make foreign families take a count of all their assets both in Italy and in their home country. This is almost an impossible task for these families and if they are unable to present their assets the penalty is taken on their children who must pay a more expensive rate for hot lunches at school. Then if they try to bring their own meals the kids are forced to sit by themselves, segregated from the other children. This article shows the trend of Salvini's far right party having an effect on all of Italy, much like the closing of foreign markets at 9 PM.
  • Logan Hayek
  • This is news articles brings out the common misconceptions Italians have against immigrants. It uses previous studies and polls to show how over half the Italian population believes that “refugees are a burden because they exploit the social benefits and work of the native inhabitants” (Marchi, EURACITV). This further promotes the negative stigma attached to most, if not all, migrants. Immigration is an extremely controversial issue and media sources like this highlight the negative connotations pointed at migrants. According to previous research done by students in regards to the recent political activity in Italy, the new interior minister Salvini, has expressed his beliefs and values against immigration. This correlates directly to the general consensus and misconceptions most Italians have against migrants, even though “most immigrants in Italy arrive legally, play an active role in society and contribute to the economy”. Members of EURACTIV met with migrants living in Ferrara, a city in northeast Italy, and asked them to discuss their experiences in order to eradicate these common misconceptions people have against immigration.
  • This article talks about the success the town of Riace has had since mayor Domenico Lucano implemented his plan in 1998 to welcome immigrants into their hilltop small town. Lucano discusses how the migrants have added to their economy by learning skills that allow them to have successful jobs and contribute to the community. He hopes that by sharing the success of their town this will make people more open minded and less judgmental of migrants. Many trades that were dying in the town have been picked up again and helps build the economy. Many Riace's say that the trick to their success is allowing the migrants to be members of their society. When they are not judged and kept hidden they are able to gain new skills that lead to jobs that allow them to participate in the community and economy. When they have successful lives they are then able to learn the language, engage with natives, and overall enhance the community with their involvement. This article shows that when migrants are embraced in a community they are able to contribute and even help a society flourish when stereotypically they are seen as burdens to a community.
  • Lauren Schaefer

Proposed Strategies

What strategies have been proposed in response to influx of immigrants? The first wave of research has many articles on propositions to end immigration. What strategies exist that may usher immigrants in, but with a more organized plan in mind? Possibly slowing the flow of influx rather than ending it entirely? What have other European countries done in response to this wave of immigrants? Have any of these strategies worked, why or why not? What is the current pathway to citizenship for immigrants in Italy? Is this effective and are there other proposed strategies?

  • This article outlines the different political views taken by various leaders of EU member nations. One interesting thing of note is that while immigrants continue to flood into Europe, the biggest influx happened in 2015. I would guess that all these pushes towards the right might be caused by a need to deal with the aftermath of the 2015 influx. As stated, there has been an increase in right wing power with recent elections in places such as Italy, Germany, and Austria. On the other side, Spain has recently gone through a change of government and has put a center-left Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, into power.
  • John Hansen
  • In this article published in September on a website called "Africa News", it explains a proposal made by the interior ministers of Austria and Italy to mitigate the immigration crisis. Their proposal is to hold migrants on ships once in European territorial waters in order to perform screenings to decide whether or not they, in Austria's interior minister Herbert Kickl's words: "deserve protection". Due to the route from Turkey to Greece largely shutting down in 2016, Italy has become a prime location for migrants to initially enter the continent. Many migrants from Africa come by ship and get asylum by getting inside European territorial waters. So Salvini, as a member of the far-right and protectionist League Party, backed Kickl. The proposal to keep migrants on ships would be to slow the influx, and give a way for Italy to deny more migrants entry into the country. The article also states how Salvini has described his feelings on immigrants in the past, likening them to slaves at a conference in Vienna.
  • Sam Schoenberg
  • In this article, it's explained how European countries are putting up fences in order to keep migrants out. Countries such as of Macedonia, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece, Spain, etc. all have created some form of a fence or border to prevent entrance of illegal immigrants. Many of the countries claim that they will allow those fleeing war-zones to continue to pass through. "Barley a week goes by without another European nation erecting a partition, signaling what many believe is the end of the Schengen zone and the dream of free movement."
  • Alexa Robinson
  • In this article, published by The Economist, they propose a three step program to help manage the migrant crisis across Europe. They propose the flow of refugees would be manageable if the EU works together and follows the following three steps. We must begin by addressing the "push factor" that urges migrants to leave their home countries, especially in war torn countries. Second we must review asylum claims while refugees are still in centers in the middle east or "hot spots" such as Greece and Italy where they first arrive to the EU. The third step would be insisting that asylum seekers stay put until their applications are processed. The final piece is that sometimes the answer has to be no. Inelgible migrants will have to be refused entry or be deported. While this is legally difficult, the system will be overwhelmed or seen as illegitimate and unfair by EU citizens if not enforced.
  • Emily Cunningham
  • This article gives a background on Italy's troubled past with immigration, closing borders and paying off the coast guard to prevent new entries on the Italian border, however provides that Italy needs a reform that not only begins a migration control program but also integrates human rights practices. The new strategy indicates that all European countries should be making a bigger effort to rescue boats, and instead of sending them back or detaining them, providing the passengers with an option to evacuate to Niger through the International Organization for Migration. The second solution the article provides is to allow for the people who have failed to receive asylum to apply for yearly visas to limit amounts of people coming to Europe illegally. Finally, the overall goal would be to limit people coming to Europe illegally, and also make it so that if asylum cannot be reached in Italy or Europe, the immigrant can be returned safely to their home country or to a safe country.
  • Hannah Lyford
  • This Bloomberg Op-Ed focuses on what the EU as a whole can do to help combat its immigration issue. It mentions how the cost of taking on immigrants falls onto the southern border states like Greece and Italy. The article offers a few methods that can help alleviate and moderate the immigration issue that an entire continent is currently facing. For one, the article states that it is essential that the EU creates a centralized search-and-rescue system. Though it may be pricey, it will allow the countries to be more coordinated in their efforts of rounding up immigrants. As of now, militant groups badly mistreat the refugees that they intercept throughout international waters so its imperative that the EU takes back the reigns in controlling the situation. Another step in the process would be creating a system that evenly divides the immigrants based off the country's size and economic capabilities. The southern countries are dealing with a sizeable influx of immigrants while the northernmost countries of the EU aren’t taking in nearly as much. However, the article insists that Europe needs to do the best with the immigrants that they have now. Educating and training immigrants will best help them integrate into the social, economic, and cultural aspects of each country. If this is done, the countries won’t be as badly burdened with taking care of the immigrants since they will be more self-sufficient.
  • Anthony Baciocco
  • In this Washington Post article, the authors discuss the strategy that Italy has been using to help ward off migrants from Northern Africa, and why they are wrong in doing so. It talks about militia's in the country of Libya and how they are blocking migrants moving toward the coast in a new policy that has been spearheaded by the Italian government. Italy is essentially paying these militia groups to deter potential immigrants away from the coast. The article goes into detail on different aspects of why the Italian government is wrong for paying militia's to stop migrant movement in Libya. First, this policy empowers non-state armed groups by giving them money to deter away people from leaving North Africa for Europe. Previously, migrants and smugglers paid these same militias a tax to depart for Europe. Now, Italy and the E.U. in affect pay the same militia groups to keep the migrants in place. Second, the policy stunts efforts to build credible security in the near future. These agreements have made these militias now considered part of the Government of National Accord (GNA, the Libyan government) official security forces, a textbook case of hybrid security. Hybrid security is when a weak government claims that it has co-opted independent militias by offering them money. Finally, this strategy may induce conflict in the future. Opponents of the militias in Libya may be tempted to intervene to stop their rivals from gaining legitimacy from the E.U. migrant strategy.
  • Kjell Wittstock
  • This article is an example of a specific policy that is meant to regulate Italy’s immigration issue. Italy has recently published its 2018 Immigration Quota Decree (“Decreto Flussi”) allowing non-EU nationals who fall within the circumstances set out in the Decree to obtain a work permit. The Decree sets the quota limits for each type of permit and also outlines the period during which applications can be submitted. The Decree for 2018 has set a total quota level of 30,850 permits, to be allocated amongst various categories.
  • Cara Konowalchuk
  • This article continues our class discussion on Domenico Lucano, the mayor of Riace. Lucano is now officially banned from entering the very city that he is mayor of. He has been accused of setting up marriages for immigrants with citizens of Italy. The town of Riace has had a history of being open and welcoming to immigrants by showing them how to fit into to the crowd, develop an Italian lifestyle, and providing employment. Lucano and the town of Riace have developed a strategy to help immigrants, which goes against the strong opinion that the government and a majority of the Italian population have.
  • Joe Gianotti
  • This article outlines the ideas of Cesvi and the Institute for Studies of International Politics to use the savings gathered from decreased landings in Italy for a more structured process of integration. It is estimated that this year, Italy has saved 1 billion euro from this decrease and will continue to save if the flow of migrants is maintained. Investing money now into resources that will strengthen the integration process can have beneficial economic and social effects for Italy in the future. Money would be put into the labor market, education system, health services, and social costs, prompting a more stable and regulated transition for immigrants. By allowing better access to these four main services, more opportunities for migrants become available, which eventually leads to changes like better education, an overall higher GDP, and lower crime rates.
  • Isabelle Lada

Professional Opinion Pieces

These articles of opinion should be written by educated, potentially significant individuals, who voice an opinion and offer substantial evidence to support their opinion. These would be very beneficial to a discussion in the context of ethical opinions!

  • In this op-ed, Beppe Severgnini, an expert on Italian politics, takes a pro-immigration stance. He views immigration as a necessity for an aging country like Italy. He makes a point that Italians are not racist, but they are scared and confused about immigration. Severgnini rejects the actions and stances of interior minister Mr. Salvini. Overall, he shares a minority opinion backed up with facts and he explains why many Italians might be so opposed to immigration.
  • Katie Odland

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