Thousands of irregular Tunisians who came to Rome to apply for regularisation have been given expulsion orders.
But the news of a false measure to grant amnesty (Sanatoria) to irregular immigrants keeps attracting many irregular Tunisians to Rome.
It all started with an online advertisement by an association in Rome which was promising to help with the handling of applications for Permits of Stay for humanitarian reasons
Tunisians have arrived from many parts of Europe including Germany and France.
On Thursday and Friday last week, at least 500 went to the Provincial Police Headquarters in Rome to apply for amnesty.
On Monday this week, 980 went to apply for amnesty while on Tuesday 490 did the same. On Wednesday, the number went up to 1,150.
Since there is no amnesty underway for illegal immigrants in Italy, all these Tunisians who thought they were applying for regularization simply reported their illegal presence to the police. Instead of being regularised as they had hoped, most of them have been given expulsion orders.
Many are now being detained at the Ponte Galeria Identification and Expulsion Centre.
All the minor children have been referred to children’s reception centres while pregnant women have given permits to stay in Italy since the law forbids expulsion of pregnant women from Italy.
All of these Tunisians who went to the police to apply for regularization had a declaration showing that they were living at an address belonging to an association called “Forum delle Comunità straniere in Italia” (Forum of Foreign Communities in Italy). Each had in fact paid the registration fee of 20 Euros in order to obtain the declaration.
They all hoped to use that declaration to apply for Permit of Stay for humanitarian reasons.
The police are still investigating to find out whether there was a misunderstanding or the ad was deliberately misleading by promising to help irregular immigrants obtain documents.
Mr. Maurizio Improta of Rome’s Immigration Office said that many of the Tunisians who went to apply for permits had already been given expulsion orders.