Italy’s parliament yesterday approved measures to accelerate asylum procedures, cutting the number of possible appeals and speeding up deportations of rejected migrants. Since 2014 the number of migrants reaching Italy’s shores has surged, with half a million arriving in the country, and under European Union law Italy has to set up so-called “hotspots” where migrants with the right of asylum are set apart from those without. As a result, Italy’s asylum applications have jumped, burdening the national civil courts and with procedures further delayed by appeals that can take years.
The law, named after Interior Minister Marco Minniti and Justice Minister Andrea Orlando, also creates 26 new sections in courts across the country, specialised in immigration. It enables the Interior ministry to employ up to 250 people in the next two years to work in specialised state-run committees dealing with the asylum request.
Rights group Amnesty International said it was worried for the “significant reduction in the procedural guarantees for the asylum seekers” claiming that the new procedures could be unconstitutional and discriminatory. "Faster decisions are in the interest of those requesting asylum but they must not lead to a limitation of [the migrants’] rights", the head of Amnesty International in Italy Antonio Marchesi said in a statement.