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Ten Commandments for an upright civil and moral conscience

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Clandestines, irregulars, sans papier (undocumented):
How to call them?

"Out with the foreigners" is the slogan that is proclaimed, almost as a battle cry, from some members of the press, in public talks, in bars and even in parliament. The target, it is obvious to see, are the "foreigners" who have come to pollute the purity of our Italian race, especially in the Padania, our customs, even our language that is so "sweet sounding to us."

Perhaps the first among the higher ups of a certain city government in Brescia, who some weeks or so ago, put into place a program titled "White Christmas", did not intend to make a clean sweep of those whose skin is not as white as ours, we who are the noble Europeans, but many people did take it that way. They thought that it was almost a call to slam the door in their face, as did the well-to-do people of Jerusalem to a Baby who them found a place in a cave in Bethlehem, since his parents had semitic features.
What are these immigrants doing here? Are you not fearful of this invasion of foreigners? Okay, perhaps a few are needed, good people who work honestly, who do not disturb the peace and who leave when they lose their jobs. However, no tolerance for the clandestines, as was promised during the election campaign and which has become a part of government policy by passing legislation called "a package for security", even though for most of them, the only sin of which they are guilty is that they are undocumented, "without papers", that famous paper which permits them to reside in the country.

Of course the debate on the irregulars is very complex and we cannot solve it by some phrase or some maximalist sentence, and no one can be so naive to think he has an ace up his sleeve to be able to give a clear value and solution to it. There are some points that need to be made, both civilly and as Christians, that we cannot renounce. Without wanting to give an exhaustive list, we can, in a few words, present what we might call a list of Ten Commandments.

1. The contrast to clandestine or irregular immigration must find an agreement; it is a "
2. We must ever be mindful that the influx or irregulars is due mostly to social imbalance, to problems, to situations of extreme poverty, which make life unlivable in their countries of origin. Often, the reason for those difficulties are caused by other nations whose standard of living is high. This is partially recognized when a solemn proclamation declares the need and urgency foreign aid to the countries of the Third World. These words often remain just that, "words, words, words,"

3. It does not surprise at all that Pope John -Paul II often spoke of an "emigration of desperation", a formula that sounds very similar to that proclaimed last October during the synod of African Bishops: "the cry of desperation." And that is precisely what pushes the migrant to leave his country- that instinct for survival and that deep intuition that all people are called to "share the common table of creation". The rich of today cannot stuff themselves abundantly and wast their goods while denying even the smallest crumbs to the hungry.

4. Among the migration caused by an economic situation, we need to identify those who have come because they were fleeing from their countries and who have asked for political asylum. They benefit from international protection, which was solemnly stated by Geneva Convention in 1951 and which was ratified by Italy.

5. The Holy Father´s words delivered during the Day of the Migrant and Refugee in 1993 are still current and provoking. The Pope said: "In many countries today, people migrate simple to survive. Such a situation tends to erode even the distinction between the concept of refugee and of migrant, so much sol that it joins together the two categories under the same heading of necessity."

6. From this follows the authoritative voice the Pope that warns us that "even if the developed nations are not always able to absorb the entire number of those who migrate, nevertheless, it is important to point out the criterion of supportability which cannot be one simply of defence of one´s well-being, without keeping in mind the needs of those who are forced to ask for hospitality". The invitation to "add an extra place at the table" is still a strong categorical imperative.

7. No one is asking to open the doors wide; however, it is neither human nor Christian to keep them tightly shut. It should not surprise, then, that a few or many will try to jump over the wall. a wall that has no legal opening to t is always a "wall of shame".

8. On the other hand, we must be realistic: more than 8% of foreigners who regularly reside in Italy for work or because of a previous irregular situation that was adjusted by at least one of the 7 regulations enacted beginning in 1986, the last of which dating from last September, are categorized as "colf", collabaratrice familiare, (domestic help) and "badante" (carer). This clearly shows that the migration policies have been inadequate to date.

9. Going back to the contrast between clandestine immigration, we cannot deny the State, as a matter of principle, the right of expulsion or refusal; however, it should involve residual and exceptional situations, once all other avenues had been pursued. People should not be treated the same if they come from places where their rights are not democratically protected or where their fundamental human rights are not respected.

10. As far as urgent interventions are concerned on the part of social groups and volunteer groups in favour of irregulars, these should not be seen as favouring clandestine immigration. They are, in fact, allowed by article 12 of the Immigration Text. On top of this, under the pastoral work, since "for the Church no one is a stranger", there is no distinction made in the treatment given to regulars and irregulars.

Is it a utopia to dream that one day there will be a sort of free movement for all the citizens of the world?


By: Bruno Miolli - Italy. From

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