By Justin Holcomb,
The newly appointed prime minister of Italy is calling for massive changes in the country’s immigration policy for 2017. Paolo Gentiloni is expected to call for a full reversal on his predecessor’s policies which allowed hundreds of thousands of migrants enter Europe through Italy.
A two-page instructional document has been sent to police stations throughout Italy ordering officers to increase efforts to deport migrants. The document says the change is important to battle “a growing migratory pressure and an international context marked by instability and threats”.
And according to the report, Italy will open 16 detention centers for migrants while they are being arranged for return.
The Italian navy seized an overcrowded refugee boat last year as it overturned carrying at least 500 African migrants. The number of migrants arriving by boat increased by almost one fifth in 2016.
Since 2013, more than half-a-million migrants have arrived in Italy which is almost the entire population of Florence.
Anis Amri, the migrant man who drove a car into a Christmas market in Berlin last year, arrived in Europe via Italy.
Beppe Grillo, leader of the Five Star Movement party, has also called for drastic changes. “Until now, it has been time for sorrow, sympathy, solidarity,” he says. But now, “it is time to act and protect.”