In 2016, over 180,000 migrants reached Italy by irregular means. During the first ten months of 2018, this number had dropped to under 21,000. Although the number of unauthorized immigrants in Italy has been decreasing over the last decade, racial tensions have increased after a mix of anti-immigrant campaigns, fake news and horrific tragedies. As a result, “immigration” is the nation’s most discussed issue. There are currently over 5 million regular immigrants in Italy. The IDOS research centre estimated that the number of unauthorized immigrants would be about 500.000. Many of them are asylum seekers whose claim to international protection was denied. Some can’t go back to their country due to bureaucratic problems, some others receive the "foglio di via" (expulsion paper) but the authorities fail to make sure that they actually leave the nation. What do Italians think about it?
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"It's not possible to send immigrants back to their countries. We must find a different solution and help them here"
During his pontificate, Pope Francis repeatedly criticised the anti-immigration policies operated by many foreign governments. This created a fracture among the Italian Catholics, since many of them are also strong supporters of Matteo Salvini.
Although being clear about the fact that immigration must be handled wisely, Pope Francis and his supporters reject the distinction between "clandestine" and "legal immigrant". The Pope claims that all the countries in the world should cooperate to deal with this issue, fighting the fear of diversity and looking at humankind as a single family and that economic operators should start thinking about those who flee from misery and hunger and invest in their countries. By doing so, immigration could become a chance of mutual growth for everyone.
The value of hospitality is praised by many Biblical verses, and its practical application should include caring for every person who comes at our doors.
Critics of this Argument often point out that such talks often lack of a practical application.