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Salvini's war against migrants continue

The day after Italy’s coalition government was formed in June 2018, Matteo Salvini, the deputy prime minister, interior minister, and leader of the far-right League party, announced that the good times were over for immigrants living illegally in Italy—and that they should get ready to pack up and leave. He added that under his ministry, no people smuggler would be allowed to dock in Italian ports. The reference wasn’t to smugglers as they are commonly known but to the nongovernmental organization ships that patrol the Mediterranean Sea in search of boats in distress.

One year later, just before the government crisis he himself provoked, Salvini has managed to make good on his promise, getting the Senate to pass his signature security decree. Under this law, which was approved this month with 160 votes in favor and 57 against, private vessels carrying migrants that cross into Italian territorial waters will face fines of up to 1 million euros, the arrest of the captain, and confiscation and possible destruction of the ship. The law deals with immigration as part of a larger package of internal security measures, which also includes reform of some articles of the criminal code.