Donnerstag, 10. November 2016

Palermo: Fifty Expelled Migrants Wandering Aimlessly, No Money for the Trip


Alert from voluntary associations: “This system is creating invisible people.”

The 250 North Africans, mainly from Morocco, who arrivedon board the Dattilo on Monday morning along with a further 798migrants, after being left at the port for almost 30 hours, spent a second night in the city, under the cold wind and rain with an expulsion notice in hand. In law they now have seven days to “voluntarily remove themselves”. The clock began from when they entered Italy without any right to a form of protection. Among them there are also 3 Libyans.

The majority of them managed to get the train to Rome this morning, but another hundred are still near the central station looking for money to buy tickets. “We don't know what to do”, a young Moroccan man says. “I don't have anything with me, not even money to buy food. I would to get to Rome and then move on from there to another place. The past two days in Palermo have been a nightmare. We waited at the port for 30 hours, and then we were left in the middle of the street in the rain.”

Volunteers from some associations are also with them, who have provided food, clothes and important information to those who do not know how to leave Palermo. Many of them want to get to France and Germany, where they already have contacts. “This system is creating invisible people”, says Alberto Biondo from the Combonian Laic Missionaries, who follows the landing operations. “We think we have a very safe system, but instead it's a criminal system which first kills people at sea and then makes them invisible, easy prey for exploiters.”

The volunteers tried in vain to contact the Moroccan Consulate, and in the end had to make to on their own. Along with the Combonian Laic Missionaries, Centro Astalli, Borderline Sicilia and the Antiracist Forum were also present. “There were even some families”, Biondo continues. “The women were sent to Rome and their husbands left here at the station with an expulsion notice. Who knows when they will manage to be reunited.”

Claudia Brunetto

Project "OpenEurope" - Oxfam Italia, Diaconia Valdese, Borderline Sicilia Onlus

Translation by Richard Braude