Italy’s Northern League pledges mass migrant deportations


Italy’s far-right Northern League has promised to introduce mass deportations of asylum seekers to Africa as part of a radical reshaping of migration policies if it wins next month’s elections. The party, led by Matteo Salvini, would also seek to force asylum courts to disregard the circumstances of a migrant’s journey in any deliberation about whether they should be granted asylum.

With Italians going to the polls on 4 March, and in the aftermath of an attack on six African immigrants, rhetoric on the right has increasingly focused on migration and Italy’s role as the point of arrival for hundreds of thousands of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Africa.

The government, currently led by the centre-left Democratic party, has recently taken controversial steps to sharply reduce the number of migrant arrivals, including allegedly making secret agreements with militias and tribes in Libya that have been condemned by human rights groups. But the Northern League, or Lega, has promised to go further, saying that, if elected, it would begin a programme to force an estimated 400,000 migrants back to their countries of origin, including Nigeria, Tunisia and Morocco.(theguardian)…[+]