The decree will radically reduce the number of migrants receiving “humanitarian protection”, a lower level of asylum status based on Italian rather than international law.
Italy’s senate on Wednesday cleared the way for far-right leader Matteo Salvini’s tough anti-migrant and security decree to become law.
The populist government of Salvini’s League and Luigi Di Maio’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) won the vote with 163 senators for, 59 against and 19 abstentions, including five M5S members opposed to the stringent decree.
The lower house of parliament now has until the end of November to approve the decree, which the coalition first put forward in September and makes it easier to expel migrants and strip them of Italian citizenship.
“Salvini decree, a historic day,” Salvini tweeted after the vote.
The government opted for a confidence vote to get the decree through the senate after M5S members tabled a slew of amendments. It should have no problem passing in the lower house, given the coalition’s majority.
The decree will radically reduce the number of migrants receiving “humanitarian protection”, a lower level of asylum status based on Italian rather than international law, that was awarded to 25% of asylum seekers last year.
The Italian mayors’ association has railed against the change, saying that having hundreds of unemployed migrants in reception centres can have a negative impact on small communities.
The new law also lets local police have Taser stun guns and makes it easier to evict squatters by getting rid of the obligation of finding provisional housing for the most vulnerable.