“I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honour you all the days of my life.” Or, at least, until my residence permit is ready. Despite Europe’s not particularly successful efforts to close its southern borders so as to prevent refugees from entering the European Union “in a wild manner”, human traffickers have found a new trick to achieve their aims. Even using methods that are on the edge of legality and selling solutions to those who can afford it. Even in the less fortunate countries life is easier for those who can afford it.
Arranged marriages, organized in the countries of origin, with a formal request presented to the embassies, in this case to the Italian one. A well-organized network, that recruits potential spouses among tramps, poor and marginalized people. The only requirement is having Italian citizenship.
The Termini railway station in Rome, squats, and the social canteens for the destitute and the homeless are the privileged hunting ground for the traffickers. Once they find a man (more rarely a woman) willing to marry, trips are organised towards Cairo, in Egypt. Here, via the Italian embassy arrives the marriage request. One completes the various bureaucratic processes and, once they have all the necessary documents, one is free to celebrate the wedding, usually with a Coptic or catholic rite; then the marriage is registered both in the country of origin and in Italy.
“Obviously, having contacts in Egypt makes it is easier for us to operate – tells in an interview for ANSA a forty-year-old Italian involved in the traffic – but within a couple of weeks the newly married man or woman from Italy are paid and go back home”. Afterwards, a last step needs to be done. Once the marriage act is registered, one has to wait for a few months to receive the request for the residence permit for family reasons, but with a long-term perspective: applying for citizenship.
Thus, we literally lose control over who enters or leaves the borders. Anyone can organize a legal marriage behind which hides human trafficking… everything done in accordance with the laws in force. A slap in the face of justice.
A new business on which now are investigating even the Italian Counter-terrorism. This is a method that does not merely allow the refugees to escape from situations of conflict and poverty. It opens the gates to potential terrorists (also women) who get, this way, all the necessary papers in order to obtain a residence permit, that will allow them to move in complete freedom on the Italian territory.
The problem does not affect only Italy. Very often the beautiful country is merely the point of departure for the migrants: their final destinations are, in fact, the countries in northern Europe, such as Germany and Austria.”Facta lex inventa fraus”, as the Latin proverb goes: once the law is made, the deception is found. And it happens at the expense of those most in need, whereas others take advantage of their disgrace.