«Tent cities, no. This is the Campania, we are in Italy, not in Africa.” The diktat to the prefects of Mario Morcone, security councilor of the De Luca junta and former head of department of the Ministry of the Interior for civil liberties and immigration – practically among the highest authorities on the subject – does not allow replies. On the table, according to Morcone, there is a non-emergency: «An exaggerated noise is being made around a situation that is certainly difficult and demanding, but which we are able to manage with seriousness and respect for people. In 2015 we welcomed 152 thousand migrants here, the following year 182 thousand. Today’s numbers cannot put us in crisis.”
In Campania therefore, according to the first indications that emerged in the meeting that took place yesterday between the prefects of the five provinces, the new detention centers for migrants to be repatriated, foreseen by the decree launched yesterday by the government in places “with very low population density”, will be built within unused buildings that are more or less available; Naples and its endless province should be excluded from this plan – semi-deserted territories are nowhere to be found – but not from what concerns the distribution on the national territory of migrants who have landed in recent days in Lampedusa. Campania has around 500 of them: after an initial welcome and health checks at the hospital hubSea Hospital120 will remain between Naples and the province, 60 will go to Salernoas many a Casertathe others distributed between Avellino and Benevento.
All things considered, the reception machine in Campania appears to be sufficiently well-established. «Optimal, thanks to the spirit of collaboration of all the parties involved and shared and joint work», the prefect of Naples defined it at the end of August Claudio Palomba when on board the Ocean Viking 254 people arrived in the Neapolitan port. In Naples and its province, from January to today, around two thousand migrants have been welcomed in the 24 Extraordinary Reception Centers (Cas), including almost three hundred minors; those unaccompanied are hosted in facilities managed by the Municipalities. Numbers more or less in line in the other provinces. In Caserta, the migrants currently present in the 41 CAS are 1710, the 53 unaccompanied minors are distributed in three structures in the province; in Irpinia there are 22 reception facilities for the 800 immigrants registered, including CAS and Sai centers (Reception and Inclusion System) which also include around fifty Municipalities; upon their arrival, before being sorted into the various CAS, the immigrants are welcomed in a former educational institution managed by the Red Cross. In Salerno and its province there are 21 CAS for the approximately 1600 adults present and four (in Castel San Giorgio, Polla, Postiglione, Pellezzano) for unaccompanied minors, currently 60. Finally, in Benevento there are 29 CAS structures and they host 900 migrants; the Municipalities of Ceppaloni and Campolattaro have recently published tenders for the construction of two more Centers to create an additional 60 places. «The dialogue with the Municipalities – explains councilor Morcone – is constant and overall fruitful. Some structures, particularly in Cilento and the province of Caserta, are models of excellence for the rest of the country. Luxury hotel? What nonsense. Simply, it was understood that despite difficulties it is necessary to keep the quality standards of hospitality high. The prefects as implementing bodies of the CAS act in this sense. Religious institutions naturally give us a big hand. But the most important dialogue is with the mayors, who receive the money from the Interior Ministry for the Sie structures, those for inclusion. It is the main way to manage a phenomenon that is epochal – concludes Morcone – and which cannot be addressed by creating prisons in which to lock up people who have not committed crimes”.
The good functioning of the CAS has essentially eliminated, over time, the protests of residents worried about having to deal with disreputable, if not downright criminal, “neighbors”. People who hung around, with nothing to do, in the gardens frequented by children, or who, dissatisfied with the few pennies guaranteed daily by the State, ended up feeding the army of muggers, bicycle thieves, scooters or mobile phones. It happened a few years ago in particular Calvizzano. Today in the large center on the outskirts of Naples, such as in Marano, Mugnano and Quarto, no one complains anymore. «Not, at least of the immigrants hosted in official structures – explains Morcone – who in fact have in many cases begun to integrate with the communities. The real issue is the one that concerns the thousands of illegal immigrants, perpetually waiting for a residence permit, without documents and without a decent roof over their heads, who end up straight into the arms of crime.”
For this reason, the former head of national immigration policies rejects the government’s line without appeal. «By raising the specter of detention pending repatriation, clandestinity is promoted. In the chaos, illegal immigrants will grow, we will lose sight of them, prejudice against them will be fueled. We have already seen this at the time of the Salvini decrees. Life, dignity and people’s rights cannot be instruments of electoral battles”, Morcone enthuses, predicting a difficult path for the decree on the crest of constitutional legitimacy.
Better, then, to focus on good practices that demonstrate day after day that migratory flows are not a problem but an opportunity. «A great resource – underlines Morcone – which we senselessly intend to give up. Let’s just think of unaccompanied minors: very young people to be raised, to be educated, to be included in the many productive realities that have an extreme need for young people. We recently completed a training course with Scabec for a group of these young people who will work in the cultural heritage services”. It’s just an example. In the small towns of Cilento and the province of Avellino, young immigrant families are slowly helping to put a stop to depopulation. In Morcone, in the Benevento area, 96 immigrants settled in the former prison are studying Italian while the Region, to take away space and power from the “corporals”, has financed means of transport for the migrants from Caserta who travel for work.
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on Il Mattino