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Italy: Court Strikes Down Harsher Penalties for Illegal Immigrants

(June 17, 2010) On June 10, 2010, Italy's Constitutional Court held unconstitutional a law that had imposed stricter penalties for illegal immigrants if they were convicted of other crimes while in the country. The ruling, which will be released within a few weeks, stated that judges could not give illegal immigrants sentences that were three times harsher than those given to legal residents for the same crimes. (Court Rejects Stiffer Sentences for Immigrants, AKI (June 11, 2010), http://
Sarah Miley, Italy Court Strikes Down Increased Jail Sentences for Illegal Immigrants, PAPERCHASE NEWSBURST (June 11, 2010), http://

The Court upheld a law enacted in July 2009 that made illegal immigration itself a crime with a punishment of a fine of €5,000-10,000 (about US$6,100-12,200) and as much as six months of detention prior to deportation. (Miley, supra.) That provision was part of a general crackdown on illegal immigration that included the establishment of citizen patrol groups and subjecting anyone renting housing to an illegal immigrant to a possible jail term of up to three years. (AKI, supra.)