11 March 2010

Reversal of the Supreme Court: expelled even those with children in Italy

Taken from Ansa

ROME – Italian Supreme Court reversal on the issue of immigration: illegal immigrants, with children studying in Italy, may not ask to remain in this country claiming that their deportation would cause ‘emotional’ harm and a decrease in their children’s school performance. According to the new orientation of the Supreme Court which refutes a recent ruling, the need to ensure the protection of the law at the borders prevails over the need to protect the children’s right to education.

The Supreme Court – with decision No. 5856 - dismissed the appeal of an Albanian immigrant, whose wife is awaiting Italian citizenship and with two children living in Busto Arsizio (Varese), who asked for permission to remain in Italy in the name of his children’s right to ‘healthy mental and physical development’, which would be altered by their father’s deportation. The supreme judges responded that it is possible for an undocumented immigrant to stay in Italy for a period of time only in the name of ‘serious reasons related to mental and physical development of the child, if determined by a situation of emergency’.

These emergency situations, however, are not those that are ‘basically stable’, such as children’s school attendance and the normal educational process of learning, which are ‘essentially normal’ situations. If this were not so, says the Supreme Court, rules that would allow a period of stay for emergency reasons even to undocumented immigrants would end up ‘legitimising the integration of foreign families through the exploitation of children’. With this ruling, moreover, the Supreme Court silenced the previous decision of the Supreme Court itself which had given the green light to an undocumented father to stay in Italy, defining it as ‘simplistic and oriented solely to the needs of child protection alone, omitting with it the systematic framework of the overall regulatory design’ of immigration law.

translated by Camilla Gamba