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Article Italy: Law on Immigration and International Protection Enters into Effect

On October 10, 2023, Decree-Law No. 133, concerning immigration and international protection, and support for Ministry of Interior security operations entered into effect in Italy.

Expulsions for Public Security Reasons

Decree-Law No. 133 provides that the authorities may expel long-term European Union (EU) residence permit holders from the national territory for serious reasons of public order or state security. The expulsion decree may be appealed before the ordinary judicial authorities. (Decree-Law No. 133, art. 1(1)(a)(c), substituting art. 9, para. 10 of Legislative Decree (L.D.) No. 286 of July 25, 1998, Consolidated Law on Immigration Regulations and the Condition of Foreigners .)

Judicial challenges against these expulsion orders are regulated by an abbreviated procedure established in the law. All other expulsion orders are appealable within 60 days before the judge presiding over the pending criminal proceedings. After hearing the public prosecutor, the judge issues a nonappealable decision within 30 days. (Art. 1(4)(a), amending art. 17 of L.D. No. 150 of September 1, 2011.)

Expulsion orders are executed by the police chief or through diplomatic or consular channels, unless the presence of the concerned person could cause serious disturbances or danger to public order or national security. (Art. 1(1)(a)(e), amending art. 17, para. 1(2) of L.D. No. 286)

When a foreigner who is subject to removal proceedings files an application for international protection or asylum, the police commissioner, after hearing the opinion of the respective president of the territorial commission, immediately proceeds with the preliminary examination of the application and may declare it inadmissible when no grounds for the recognition of international protection exist, in which case the competent territorial commission proceeds with the further examination of the case. (Art. 3(1).) adding para. 1-bis to art. 29-bis, para. 1 of L.D. No. 25 of January 28, 2008.)

In certain cases established in the penal code, the sentence can be replaced by the expulsion of the convicted person from the national territory. (Art. 5(1)(b), adding para. 3-ter to art. 19-bis of L.D. No. 152.)

Additional Grounds for the Removal of Foreigners

When a requestor of international protection in Italy does not present themselves at the territorially competent police office to verify their identity and formalize their application for international protection, the application is considered as nonexistent. (Art. 4(1)(a), adding para. 3-bis after para. 3 of art. 6 of L.D. No. 25.)

Measures to Strengthen Controls on Visa Applications to Enter Italy

The law creates 20 additional posts for inspectors or superintendents of the State Police in charge of controlling visa applications into Italy. (Art. 2(1).)

Unaccompanied Foreign Minors

If accommodation facilities to host unaccompanied foreign minors are temporarily unavailable, the police prefect may order that minors younger than 16 years of age be placed in dedicated sections of regular welcome centers and facilities for a maximum of 90 days. (Art. 5(1)(a), adding a phrase to para. 3-bis of art. 19 of L.D. No. 142 of August 18, 2015, implementing EU Directive 2013/33 on Hospitality to Persons Requesting International Protection.) The law also provides for the construction or expansion of temporary accommodation facilities in cases of extreme urgency. (Art. 7(1)(c), amending art. 19, para. 3-bis of L.D. No. 142.)

Residence permits for unaccompanied foreign minors may be converted into other types of permits, such as permits for subordinate work or self-employment. (Art. 6(1), adding para. 1-bis.1 after para. 1-bis of art. 32 of L.D. No. 286.)

Mass Arrivals into Italy

In case of significant, multiple, and immediately successive arrivals of immigrants into Italy, following either search and rescue activities at sea or entry by evading border controls, the border security authority must carry out fingerprint and photographic surveys, anthropometric surveys, or other health checks aimed at identifying the age of the concerned persons. In addition, border security authorities must provide immediate notices about the new arrivals to the respective Public Prosecutor’s Office, even verbally, and to the respective juvenile court within 48 hours if minors are involved. (Art. 5(1)(b)(3), adding para. 6-ter to art. 19-bis of L.D. No. 152.)

Decree-Law No. 133 also includes further measures to support waste collection and disposal services in municipalities affected by significant and successive arrivals of migrants on their territory. (Art. 8(1).)

Measures in Support of the Armed Forces and the Public Police

The new legislation includes further measures in support of armed forces and public police personnel performing tasks related to mass immigration into Italy. (Decree-Law No. 133, arts. 9 & 10.) Such measures include the payment of overtime, improvement of armaments, and adaptation of facilities. (Art. 11(1).) Also, new funds are appropriated for the State Police for the purchase and strengthening of special armaments for the fight against organized crime and international terrorism. (Art. 11(1)(a).)

Dante Figueroa, Law Library of Congress
January 16, 2024

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