K.’s daughter is six years old and now lives in Naples with her grandparents. Her mother is in Mantova, where she has found work. K. has not seen her in two years, since in 2008 he ended up in prison. He, who arrived in Europe in 2000, with a tourist visa for France, sorted out his residency documents situation with the Bossi-Fini amnesty of 2002. In the meantime he became engaged to an Italian woman and they had a daughter. But then his residency permit was withdrawn. It was 2007. He was working as a turner in a firm near Brescia, in Northern Italy; his contract was to expire in October, and it was not renewed. So in November, he became an illegal immigrant. Four months later, on 20 March 2008, he was arrested with a fake credit card and sentenced to two years for fraud and receiving stolen property. He will soon be repatriated to Ghana, and will be denied entry into Italy for the next ten years. His daughter will see him again when she is 16.
A., on the other hand, has five children and one on the way. The first four stayed in Senegal when, in 2001, he left for Italy. He lives in Fermo, in the Marche region, where he worked as a bricklayer. His wife, also Senegalese, joined him three years ago in Italy. And on 24 June 2009 his fifth daughter was born, who is now 9 months old. And the next one will be born in Autumn. A.’s wife in fact is pregnant once again. She announced it by telephone last week. She left the house in Fermo to move in with her brother in Brescia, where she feels safer. Yes, because she doesn’t have a residency permit either. A. can’t stay calm. She is pregnant and might need a doctor, but she’s afraid to leave the house to go to hospital, he tells us. And he will probably be expelled as well. The sentence from the Supreme Court leaves no doubts on the interpretation of the law. And in Italy he will not only leave his wife, his baby daughter and unborn child behind, but also a credit of 27.000 Euros from a construction job which he must still collect from a firm in the Marche.
translated by Camilla Gamba