Another route to achieve ius soli

by Giuseppe Terranova - 2017.09.13
Another route to achieve ius soli
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In politics as in life, something good may just come out of something bad. On the condition, however, that one has the intelligence and the will to turn things around as needed. As in the case of the tragic calendar deferment decided yesterday by the Senate (already voted by the Chamber) on the so-called ius soli. That, in contrast to the case in Italy, would have permitted the automatic granting of citizenship to the children of legal (legal!) immigrants born or having arrived at a young age in Italy by bringing into line the Italian regulation with those in force in all the other European nations.

A painful deferment that regardless of the words expended in justification is the offspring of a political culture frozen in time. One that instead of thinking of the Italy that could be, prefers or hopes to milk one extra vote from that which is no longer. A weakness that with a little craftiness the supporters of ius soli could use to win the war after having lost the battle. In what way? By taking seriously the arguments of their adversaries. For whom, exploiting the fears of Italians about the current highly critical situation at the borders, it is child’s play to continue to defend the old rule of citizenship based on ius sanguinus against the risks of invasion inherent in that of residence. In short, as in the times when one left rather than headed for Italy, for these individuals an Italian is only so if a child of another Italian rather than having been born in the country. With the result of leaving in limbo and without identity thousands and thousands of babies and children of immigrants who for years, along with “Italians”, have studied, played, worked and watched the soccer matches.

A situation that can be remedied, setting aside the ideological iron fist, sacrosanct but useless, and adopting an approach that is not perfect but a compromise with ius temporis. Simply reducing the minimum number of years of legal presence in Italy that the law now requires of their parents to achieve citizenship (e.g. from 10 to 4, as for EU immigrants), eliminating by parallel, every form of potential and arbitrary bureaucratic discretion in the relative procedure of concession. They are Italians and so are their children. Maintaining the peace of mind of the enemies of ius soli.

Published in Citizenship.
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