In the accord, successful applicants would be issued with the permit of stay for six months
An accord recently struck by the Giuseppe Conte government and its coalition partners to regularise unocumented immigrants in the country is now in jeopardy because of opposition from far right and neo-facist opposition parties. Also opposing the accord is Vito Crimi, the leader of the 5 Star Movement, the senior partner in the coalition government.

The deal which was struck on the night of Sunday May 11, 2020, after days of bickering and horse trading between the coalition partners is, aimed at regularising immigrants for this summer seasonal work in farms across the country. Those to also benefit from the accord are house helps and caregivers.

In the accord, successful applicants would be issued with the permit of stay for six months upon applications from their employers with track record of previous employment offers. The applicant, the accord notes, must have been in Italy before March 8, 2020. The employer of such applicant is expected to pay the lump sum of €400.

Italian Agriculture Minister Teresa Bellanova
Other immigrants to benefit from the accord are those whose resident permit expired after October 31, 2019. Those in this category are expected to apply with the sum of a €100. They will also be issued with a six month permit of stay to enable them look for job if their applications are successful.

Immigrants excluded from the accord include those who have criminal records such as those who have been convicted for human trafficking, exploitation of prostitution, illegal immigration or trafficking of minors among others.

The strict requirements provided in the accord have not doused opposition, but Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said after signing the accord that regularising “migrant farm workers thwarts gang masters,” adding that, regularising the workers who pick most of Italy’s summer crops, “combat black labour and protects our health in the (COVID – 19) emergency.”

However, his party leader, Vito Crimi is singing a different tone, noting that regularising the immigrants amounted to an unacceptable amnesty. “Those who have exploited people and drugged the markets by using low-cost black labour and not paying contributions and taxes cannot get off scot free,” Crimi declared.

Agriculture Minister Teresa Bellanova could hardly fight back her tears on live television for the victory secured for immigrants who have become the pun on the opposition chess board in Italy. The neo-facist opposition Brother of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni responding to Bellanova declared sarcastically, “hundreds, perhaps thousands of Italians in recent weeks have cried in desperation for losing everything or for fear of losing it, waiting for help that has not arrived. Tonight Minister Bellanova was moved for the regularization of immigrants. I’m thrilled.”

Giorgia Meloni
Bellanova openly wept as she announced the migrant six-month regularisation at a press conference unveiling the government’s €55 billion coronavirus ‘relaunch’ decree. The Minister, a former farm worker said, “It’s true. I cried. I worked hard, I fought, and in the end I wept. I had the strength to weep – yes, the strength – because I fought a battle for something I believed in from the start, because I closed the circle on a life that is not just my own, but is also of so many women and men who like me worked in the fields,” she said.

Matteo Salvini of the far right Lega Nord joined issues with Meloni by saying, “Minister Bellanova cried for the problems of the poor migrants to be regularised, when one would have expected commitment for suffering Italian citizens in difficulty.”