Grassroots rewriting immigration policy in Lampedusa

The island lies on a 'forced route', organizers say

31 January, 20:44

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, JANUARY 31 - At least 300 representatives from grassroots immigrant and refugee rights organizations met Friday to organize ways to change European immigration policy.

    Organized by Melting Pot, the meeting running through February 2 includes a delegation from 'Lampedusa in Hamburg', a group of migrants who have been occupying a church in the Germany city for months, as well as Moroccan social forum delegates, representatives from Terre Pour Tous (Land for All), a Tunisian organization of relatives of migrants and shipwreck victims. Lampedusa lies on a ''forced route'' for refugees and migrants, one that is determined by immigration policies that not only tragically affect their destinies, but also the image and the future of the island itself. ''It's not natural that the only way to reach Europe is by this forced route'', said Melting Pot organizer Nicola Grigion. Lampedusa's inhabitants and business sector support the Meeting's idea of writing a new Lampedusa Charter that would rewrite immigration rights, he added after a meeting with a group of them and with Lampedusa Mayor Giusi Nicolini.

    ''A right to life that puts people first, along with their dignity, their hopes and dreams'' while Europe continues to invest heavily on militarizing its borders in spite of the economic crisis, reads a draft version on the Internet.

    The idea is to oppose existing EU immigration and asylum laws, in order to to prevent a repeat of October 3, when 368 refugees drowned just off the coast of Lampedusa. (ANSAmed).

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