The Italian government on Monday adopted a security decree which will make it easier to expel migrants and strip them of Italian citizenship.
The new bill is “a step forward to make Italy safer,” Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Facebook. He added that it would help Italy “be stronger in the fight against the mafia and (people) smugglers.”
Parliament has 60 days to vote the bill into law.
Salvini said the decree streamlines the rules for processing asylum requests and brings Italy into line with other E.U. countries.
Humanitarian protection — a lower level of asylum that is based on Italian rather than international law — would be awarded based on six strict criteria.
These include whether there was an urgent medical need or if the applicant was the victim of a natural disaster, Salvini told journalists. He said around a quarter of those who have applied for asylum in recent years in Italy have been given humanitarian protection, which is a provisional status.
Those seeking refugee status will have their requests suspended if they are “considered socially dangerous or convicted in the first instance” of crimes, while their appeals are ongoing.
Asylum seekers accused of “dealing drugs or bag-snatching” will have their applications denied, Salvini said.
— UNHCR Greece (@UNHCRGreece) September 3, 2018