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    An Italian border police officer escorts sub Saharan men on their way to a relocation center, after arriving in the Golfo Azzurro rescue vessel at the port of Augusta, in Sicily, Italy, with hundreds of migrants aboard, rescued by members of Proactive Open Arms NGO, on Friday, June 23, 2017

    If Steps Not Taken Over 14.4 Mln Migrants Will Live in Italy by 2065 – Scholar

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    Italy is continuing to struggle against the consequences of the EU refugee crisis that has engulfed the continent since 2015. Speaking to Sputnik, Italian scholar and author Daniele Scalea has explained challenges posed by uncontrolled migrant flows and shed light on the positive outcomes of Rome's migration policy.

    While right-wing Italian politicians are being routinely accused of "xenophobia" and "racism", there are serious reasons for criticising uncontrolled immigration flows and creating a multicultural society, Daniele Scalea, the president of the Italian-based Machiavelli Centre of Political and Strategic Studies (Centro Studi Politici e Strategici Machiavelli), told Sputnik Italy.

    "By 2065 another 14.4 million migrants will live in [Italy], according to the National Institute of Statistics of Italy", the scholar pointed out. "It turns out that by 2065 more than 40 percent of the Italian population will be comprised of foreigners or their descendants (with one-two generations being taken into account). This trend can be traced in many multinational countries of Europe".

    Scalea, the author of "Immigrazione. Le ragioni dei populisti" ("Immigration. The reasons of the populists"), emphasised that second- and third- generation immigrants were facing integration problems. According to him, the increase in the amount of foreigners could lead to the formation of ghettos and impossibility of further assimilation.

    Given this, "the situation in which the 'new Italians', like the 'new French', provoke a society split, instead of joining the general mass of indigenous people, becomes very plausible", the scholar suggested.

    Low-Wage Immigrant Workers Take Jobs From Italians

    There is yet another migration-related problem, according to the author: "Although the media and bureaucrats from various international organisations refer to the economic benefits immigration, studies indicate the opposite: most of them show negative consequences affecting wages and employment", Scalea underscored.

    Citing George Borjas, an American economist and professor of economics and social policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, the author explained that migration results in a massive redistribution of wealth from the poor, who compete with newcomers for jobs and social benefits, to the rich, who use low-wage migrant labour. 

    'Sustainable Immigration'

    To tackle the aforementioned challenges the scholar proposed what he called "sustainable immigration". By this term he understands the situation in which migrants, flowing into the country, do not inflict losses on the people who accept them.

    The author insisted on the necessity to regulate migration flows in terms of both the quantity and "quality" of newcomers. He noted that the country should accept foreigners who possess certain skills and abilities that the country itself lacks.

    "Finally, the main point is that migrants must be assimilated", Scalea highlighted. "Their 'integration' into society under the guise of people with different customs, norms, and rules has nothing to do with the migration process being nothing short of an invasion."

    According to the scholar, assimilation implies that a migrant becomes an Italian in every sense of the word, not a representative of foreign nation who is practicing endogamy. He noted that due to uncontrolled migration various groups of newcomers had become separated from society.

    Salvini Managed to Curtail Illegal Immigration

    Although UN experts and EU officials continue to lambast the Italian government for measures aimed at scaling down uncontrolled landings, the policy has brought tangible results, according to the author.

    "The closure of ports for non-profit organisations transporting migrants has brought obvious benefits", Scalea said. "In the first three months of 2019, the number of migrant landings decreased by almost 100 percent compared with the corresponding periods in 2017 and 2018".

    The Italian scholar suggested that the UN and EU criticism towards Rome has largely been triggered by left-wing politicians and media pundits.

    "The theme of 'racially hostile aggression' is actively circulated by foreign media with journalists writing about 'the repressive measures of the Italian government towards migrants'", he said. "Unfortunately, since foreigners cannot read news in Italian they fall prey to false stereotypes about the growth of xenophobia and racism in Italy".

    On 1 March 2019, the Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata reported that "262 migrants arrived in Italy via sea in the first two months of 2019, down 95 percent on the 5,247 that landed in the same period in 2018", citing Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. According to Salvini, 1,099 migrants were repatriated in January and February 2019. The measures were adopted under the Decree-Law on Immigration and Security adopted by Italy's parliament in November 2018.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    NGOs, refugee crisis, migrants, United Nations, European Union, Giuseppe Conte, Matteo Salvini, Italy, Europe, Africa, Mediterranean Sea
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