'Reopening legal pathways for migration urgent'

'Reopening legal pathways for migration urgent'

The head of the Comunità di Sant'Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo, has once again asked that legal pathways for migrants to enter Europe be reopened; stressing that "fair and documented immigration can contribute" to economic recovery.

"The issue of migration should be removed from political exploitation and considered, with realism, for what it is: not so much a problem as a resource," stressed Comunità di Sant'Egidio chief Marco Impagliazzo in the monthly Italian-language Catholic magazine Vita Pastorale.

"In Europe we are starting over, thanks to the vaccination campaign and the allocation of large sums of money," he said. "If we look closely at our own country, it is important to note that fair and documented immigration can contribute to recovery, bringing together - as one basic law of economics indicates - the demands of Italian companies and households with the supply of those who emigrate in search of work and a future."


Sant'Egidio's proposals

Impagliazzo noted that, "ahead of the last European Council meeting on migration, Sant'Egidio drew up proposals to deal with this decisive issue for the future of our continent." Above all, he said, "it is a matter of urgency that legal entrance flows are brought back, in order to foster employment in sectors that suffer the most from the difficulty of finding both specialized and non-specialized workers."

After that, added Impagliazzo, "we need to reintroduce the idea of private sponsorship into Italian law, which could enable not only accredited NGOs but also companies and families to bring workers to Italy, just like what happened between 1998 and 2002."

Increase humanitarian corridors

The third proposal, he said, "consists in increasing [the number of] humanitarian corridors, a best practice that since 2016 has enabled the arrival in our country of 3,000 refugees and another 700 in France, Belgium, Andorra and San Marino."

The corridors are an "ecumenical initiative," he said, promoted by Sant'Egidio, the Italian Episcopal Conference, and Evangelical Churches. They show "that it is possible to fight against the chain of illegal immigration. This best practice brings together reception and integration. The experience of humanitarian corridors is a response to the European dream, where democracy, human rights, and solidarity remain at its foundation. It is not just from a human standpoint but also a good idea economically."