Think Arizona’s new immigration law is harsh? The Grand Canyon state has nothing on these guys. FP takes a look at some of the world’s worst immigration laws.
Immigrant population: 3.9 million
What the law does: Like much of southern Europe, Italy faces the daunting challenge of trying to regulate and manage massive migration inflows from North Africa and the Mediterranean. In response, the Italian government has instituted various measures aimed at curbing immigration. One of the harshest, passed by parliament in 2009, penalizes illegal immigrants with a fine of €5,000-10,000 and allows immigration officials to detain them for up to 6 months.
Reactions: Suffice it to say that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s tough new legislation has done little to allay the rising tension in Italy over immigration and its role in Italian society. This tension came to a head this January when race riots erupted in Rosarno, a small town in the southern region of Calabria that is home to some 20,000 migrant workers, many of whom are African. The riots, which lasted for two days, left cars destroyed, shops looted, more than 50 immigrants and police officers wounded, and many rioters handcuffed and detained.
THE “BLACK SHEEP” LAW
Immigrant population: 1.7 million
What the law does: Switzerland’s uneasy relationship with its Muslim immigrant population became very public in recent years thanks to the rise of the far-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and the referendum that resulted in a ban on mosque minarets in 2009. One subject that hasn’t been getting as much publicity, however, is a tough new immigration law proposed by the SVP that is currently awaiting referendum. The law would allow the Swiss government to immediately deport all convicted criminals from other countries and — depending on which specific provisions of the bill pass — potentially their family members.
Reactions: After the SVP distributed a now-infamous poster in 2007 depicting three white sheep kicking out one black sheep above the caption “For More Security,” the U.N. instructed its special rapporteur on racism to request an official explanation from the government regarding the poster (at the time, the SVP held a plurality of seats in the Swiss coalition government). Swiss society has become polarized over the immigration law debate. In 2007, opponents of the bill formed the short-lived “Black Sheep Committee” to support immigrants rights — but enthusiasm for the SVP and its policies continues to grow.
Excerpt, read the entire article here: The World’s Worst Immigration Laws – By Peter Williams | Foreign Policy