by Lucia Martines
Earthquakes and pestilences, natural disasters and famine, hunger and persecution or a natural nomadic lifestyle pushed man, since his first appearance on the Earth, to wander far and wide, to cross seas and oceans, to overcome boundaries and to settle elsewhere. Since the first poems, the first religious narrations, the first transcriptions or through archaeological relics, history is a faithful witness to this. Mobility, and therefore migrations, too often commonly perceived as an emergency of the twenty-first century, are innate in the human DNA. A right that soon after the emergence of nation states found itself embedded in the quagmire of legal rules adopted by the different states. In the second part of last century, after the affirmation of principles, practices and policies of openness, the nationalistic pressures we are living in recent years are producing instrumentalised representation of migrations inducing feelings of closure, indifference, fear, xenophobia and violence towards the other. Today it’s time to prevent that the creation of a “we” and a “they” might conduct to dangerous tendencies far from the principles stated in our Constitutions, in the European Conventions and in the International Treaties signed in defence of human rights without distinction and the the only way to do that is through the creation of new answers to challenges on the horizon. More precisely, the most important of these challenges is the necessity to eradicate the criminal trafficking behind illegal arrivals. How? Leaving boats at the mercy of the waves? Closing seaports? Criminalising NGO’s? Concluding agreements with States where there is no respect for fundamental human rights? The only viable solution is to reform at the European level the problem of migratory flows through the creation of legal channels for entry. At present in Europe and Italy there is no legal method of access except for political asylum. It is as if system forces all those who want to reach Europe to declare persecutions and injuries of human rights even if motivations are different. Illegal channels increase human trafficking networks, tortures, violence and deaths during the route, create the presence of irregular migrants in our societies and require significant investments for emergency measures of rescue, reception and management of asylum requests. In front of the possibility of arriving by plane, those who would prefer to face a journey that often is longer than one year through deserts and detention camps with the risk of drowning in the dark of the Mediterranean? In addition to humanitarian channels, corridors directed towards those areas where there is a concentration of real asylum seekers, it would be necessary to design routes for economic migrants. “Regular controlled flows, obviously limited, but also reasonable, taking into consideration the real economic and demographic European needs” – to quote the words of the sociologist Stefano Allievi in Immigrazione. Cambiare tutto. Inspired by admission policies on point system adopted by Canada and Australia, the demograph Massimo Livio Bacci proposes the adoption of this criterion to do a selection of economic migrants taking into consideration their education level, their knowledge of language, culture and law, their job specialisation, their capacity to generate income and their household by ensuring a match between the demand of the host country and the offer of the worker. A controlled immigration that in all likelihood would contribute to wear down the view established on a “double track” – on the one side we in the West with a passport that allows us to move around the world and on the other side those who come from less fortunate corners that cannot enjoy this right – and to defeat the continuance of narrations fomenting anger and hate to ethnic, racial and religious differences to gain electoral consensus. The revival of a “culture of the enemy” which disregards that there is only one race: the human race.