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Italy: Unvaccinated migrants cannot be deported

(Photo: V4 Agency)

By: V4 Agency

Illegal immigrants are pulling a new trick to avoid deportation by refusing coronavirus testing, as well as vaccination. As most of their home countries require either a negative test or proof of vaccination for entry, they cannot be sent back.

The vast majority of migrants arriving in Italy refuse to be tested for the coronavirus. Moreover, they also reject getting the jab, in order to remain in the country and evade expulsion.

In the Sicilian town of Syracuse, a 39-year-old Tunisian migrant, has been ordered to leave Italy following the rejection of his asylum application. However, authorities are unable to deport him because Tunisia only admits fully vaccinated individuals.

Elsewhere in Sicily, 13 unvaccinated migrants from Gambia and Senegal were given private cars to chauffeur them to a migrant centre in Enna as they were not eligible to take a bus due to their vaccination status. In Italy, only those who hold a Green Pass or Super Green Pass are permitted to use public transport.

Riccardo De Corato, a member of the national-conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI) and Regional Councillor for Security of Lombardy also spoke about the migrants’ strategy to outsmart the authorities. He highlighted the problem last year: “It is clear that this trick is now known by those in the detention centre. Everyone uses it because they know that there is no law that obliges them to undergo the swab,” De Corato said.

In addition to the faltering deportation process, an increasing number of migrants are reaching Italy. Some 570 migrants arrived on 21 January alone at a migrant camp with a capacity of 250 people on Lampedusa island. In 2021 a total of 35,000 migrants arrived on the island, which is five times the 6500 number of permanent residents.

People smuggling vessels collecting illegal migrants on the Mediterranean have also contributed to the increase in landings. On 21 January, the ships of the Mediterranea Saving Humans and the Doctors Without Frontiers (MSF) organisation wanted to put more than 700 immigrants ashore in Italy.

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