//what it means to be a refugee//

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//stereotypes de-bunked//

There are four main stereotypes that people in Europe believe on refugees, ideas that are untrue and a construct of racism and our fear of difference.

The first issue people are afraid of is that the Muslim refugees will completely overtake Christianity and that their religion will over rule. This statement is extremely untrue. Statistics have shown that even if the European Union by itself would take in all Syrian refugees (about four million) and if all the refugees were Muslim the percentage of Islam would only rise for about 1% from 4% to 5%, a change that would not effect the grand scheme of things. This isn’t something new or different a muslim minority is normal and the fear of an Islamic overtake is wrong.

the ratio would look something like this:Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 19.38.21

The second main fear is birth rates and that the fear that because in many parts of the world the birth-rates are far higher that thus of Europe people of the European countries will be overpopulated by the refugees. This thought process is Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 19.24.33.pngvery wrong. It has been observed over decades and it is proven that s the standard of living and education rise the rate drops and adjusts to that of the country. Further more the country with the biggest flux of refugees (Syria) has a falling birth-rate due to war and for a few years now their population number has been declining rather than rising. Again this fear is irrational and has been proven wrong.

Another stigma that is maybe the most popular is that people believe that refugees and immigrants are more prone to crime and that these people are criminals. Study shows that actually refugees are less prone to crime than the native population. And most importantly when integrated properly they tend to c
reate businesses and pay much more into the tax system, contributing to the economy. Moreover mostly they are eager to work and to do so honestly and professionally, a much-needed help for Europe to move forward. They also tend to work for jobs that are becoming ‘extinct’ like cobblers for example and jobs that natives don’t take part in lik
e janitors or road cleaners. They not only contribute positively to the economy but they also keep jobs alive.

Finally the ‘scariest’ stereotype is the collapse of our social system. However this is a irrational fear, the European union has the strongest group of the strongest economies worldwide and should be able to take this problem head-on.

Therefore the main issues that push people to exclude refugees and to not help them with their integration are irrational and often the opposite of reality, so help out and spread the message that integrating refugees is a huge advantage.

Bibliography:
1) Fotiadis, Apostolis. “This Racist Backlash against Refugees Is the Real Crisis in Europe | Apostolis Fotiadis.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 25 Feb. 2016. Web. 26 Apr. 2017
2)Kurzgesagt. “The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained.” YouTube. YouTube, 17 Sept. 2015. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

//romanian immigration//

Here is an article originally posted on the Irish times that discusses the issue of Romanian immigrants in Italy and their integration;

“Maria” smiles when she recalls “migrating” to Italy more than 10 years ago. Now classified as a “transnational migrant”, in that she maintains cultural and economic ties to both Romania and Italy, Maria is typical of many of the one million-plus Romanians who now live and work in Italy.

While it is obvious that the Italian state has huge difficulties, both infrastructural and political, in dealing with often clandestine immigration, Maria’s story is a reminder that thousands of Italians have extended a welcoming hand to the new arrivals.

Married with one child, whom she left with relatives in Romania, Maria originally migrated in order to pay back a bank debt incurred to “fix up the house”.

Having arrived clandestinely by a private bus service, she found work thanks to a Romanian friend as live-in “help” for an elderly couple, both 95 years old, in Benevento, Campania.

For the first three weeks, the couple’s son and daughter-in- law stayed with them to oversee Maria and to help out, given she initially spoke no Italian.

“They were very sweet to me. My birthday is on June 4th and that came just one week after I had been with them. It fell on a Sunday and I went out. When I came back that evening, she [the woman of the house] had made a cake for me with my name on it and with birthday wishes from all of them with their names written on it too.”

Long-term focus
This might make it seem that Maria was already well on the way to integration into Italian society. Yet, even though she still keeps in contact with the family in Benevento, whose employment she has long since left, she continues to move between two countries, often for seasonal farm work. Romania remains her long-term focus, the place where she owns a house and where her child lives.

By far the largest component in the almost 4.5 million foreign nationals registered in Italy – more than 7 per cent of the Italian population – the Romanian community illustrates one of the most dramatic aspects of Italy’s immigration phenomenon, namely the lack of integration.

Although many young Romanians have equal or better educational qualifications than their Italian counterparts, more than 60 per cent work, often in the black economy, as “home helps”; manual labourers in the building and agricultural sectors; and in the hotel, restaurant or bar industries.

After 20 years and more of regular immigration crises, moving from Albanians to Romanians to Arab Spring north Africans and most recently to Syrians, there is very little sign of any upward mobility among immigrants or their children.

It is estimated that between 1.5 and two million immigrants are domestic workers in Italy, prompting sociologist Adrian Favell to warn of the danger of them being converted into “a new Victorian servant class”.

The immigrant’s profile is that of one who might find poorly-paid work in a restaurant, bar or hotel but who is destined to serve tables or wash dishes, but almost never to handle the till or manage the enterprise. A black taxi driver, a Lithuanian on the supermarket cash desk, a Romanian bus driver or a Polish hotel manager are almost unknown.

Poverty threshold
Immigrazione Caritas estimates the average annual income of a Romanian migrant family in Italy is €15,000 or less, with 50 per cent of Romanian families living on the poverty threshold. The lack of integration means that many immigrant groups – Chinese textile workers in Tuscany, African fruit harvest workers in Calabria – live in slum-like conditions on the margins of Italian society.

The status of many African migrants is best summed up by the denigratory Italian term vu’compra, literally “wanna- buy”. This is because many – Nigerians, Ivorians, Moroccans, Senegalese, etc – find precarious employment as walking salespeople, offering trinkets but, in reality, begging.

All the immigrant groups suffer a level of racial discrimination. For nine of the last 20 years, the xenophobic Northern League has been a senior partner in Silvio Berlusconi-led centre-right governments, doing little for the cause of integration.

No future
Many migrants are like Maria in that they see no future for themselves in Italy. Most of the Syrian boat people, for example, simply want to pass through to northern Europe. However, there are still some two million African, Asian and Latin American immigrants for whom going home or moving on is simply not an option.

For them, integration is crucial and nothing is more critical than the acquisition of Italian language skills by the 800,000 immigrant children who now attend Italian schools.

However there is no formal state recognition of the role of the teacher of Italian as a second language. Not surprisingly, all available studies indicate that a majority of immigrant children perform badly at school. All of which would explain why, for someone like Maria and her son, the future is not in Italy. 

(Written by Paddy Agnew on January 21t 2014 through the Irish Times on the link http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/integration-remains-biggest-challenge-for-immigrants-in-italy-1.1663312)

This article explains some of the issues as to why Romanian refugees don’t fit in and haven’t found their place in Italy, because of the lack of integration. Often Romanians in Italy are seen as criminals, drunks or delinquents: bad people in general, but as a campaign blogger I feel that we can all make a small difference in Italy and to change the view of people that are biased, so what to take out of this article that shows some of the lifestyle and challenges of immigrants in Italy is to change some of it using words and standing up for the minority, if you hear it on the streets or under your roof, or if you’re friends make a stereotypical comment say something and stand up for that.

//refugee crisis//

It is very hard for Italy to keep the influx of refugees under control, day to day more refugees come over in boats and with lack of consistent help from other countries in the European Union the Italian people and government is afraid of a situation that could escalate to thus of Greece.

Piero Fassino, head of the Italian Municipalities Association, warned: “The numbers are crossing the manageable mark.”, refugees desperately seek asylum (135,000 asylum seekers) and papers to move northwards to other countries like Germany, however with the tough security check and more and more walls the migrants are stuck in Italy.
chartoftheday_3825_how_refugees_will_be_resettled_across_the_eu_n.jpgAs shown in the figure above, only a small portin of the countries are helping Italy out significantly those being Spain, France and Germany, in addition the countries that are most willing to help take refugees from Greece and Hungary mainly.

The search for help has been useless, with the Italy’s incapability of completing hundreds of thousands of asylums countries still refuse to help, Austria for example despite all efforts will not let them cross over. More and more officials and governments seek to fences, walls and security to keep people out, and despite the efforts to illegal trespass many of the boarders have been put on lock down.

During the last year there were weeks were 3,700 people at a time would arrive in boats and dozens would be found dead at sea. The most that could be done shouldn’t just be moving the refugees out of the country but the focus should also go on the It is very hard for Italy to keep the influx of refugees under control, day to day more refugees come over in boats and with lack of consistent help from other countries in the European Union the Italian people and government is afraid of a situation that could escalate to thus of Greece.

In hopes of more acceptance for other countries Italy must also help the migrants that are found in the country through shelter and camps something that was very hard to put up but has been done, a step in the right direction.

As for right now however many refugees were forced to stay in Italy and the backlash of the community was largely negative, with racist comment continuously heard all around the cities located in the north such as Milan and Torino, things I have experienced first hand. And it is terribly important to change this view of these people. I strongly believe that it is important to make the most of tough situations and to make sure that our views of people are always positive and that actions speak for themselves.

All is true Italy was put in a tough situation unprepared for but as for right now Germany and France have taken in many refugees and we have to properly help the people who are left, help them to truly shine as a population. All the people that Italy has had to home must now be treated as equals by the government and population, no matter how hard it can be it will pass easily when they are treated equally and people accept them rather than shut them down, blame crimes and governmental crises
on them.

Read more on the migranti crisis: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/692213/migrant-crisis-warnings-Calais-style-camps-Italy-refugee-numbers-soar

Find some images related to the article on @immigration.integration and @integration_i_i