The Italian government has announced that, unless something changes, they will now have to reject and send back refugee boats that arrive in Italy from the Mediterranean Sea. With 13,000 refugees arriving just the past few days (5,000 on one Tuesday), Italy is at capacity> – the country is not able to take in and accommodate refugees anymore. In an emergency meeting, the Italian parliament decided to deny admittance to any rescue ships not sailing under the Italian flag or on European Union orders. In other words, they’ll reject illegal-trafficking ships as well as NGO-organized rescue operations that have been shipping immigrants every day.
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has asked the European Union for help, reasoning that Italy simply cannot continue to receive so many immigrants. Even Italian schools, gyms, barracks and old factory buildings now need to be remodeled and repurposed as temporary refugee camps.
Most immigrants arriving in Italy don't even want to stay there. Instead, many try to do whatever they can to move into Europe, especially to reach Germany or France.
This week, several hundreds of refugees tried to cross the Italian border to reach France. Due to a lack of temporary housing, roughly 400 Sudanese immigrants had been camping in an Italian riverbed near the border for days. The mayor of the neighboring town had the illegal camp dispersed due to increasing security concerns.
As a result, hundreds of them attempted to enter France and, reportedly, received assistance from German and Swiss volunteers. The French authorities managed to stop the masses trying to cross the border - which, by all accounts, was not the first time. Refugees have been trying to cross that part of the border into France for months, according to refugees themselves, who complained about how they were treated and rejected.
After that failed attempt, several immigrants were taken back to Southern Italy or Red Cross lodgings, where they were supposed to undergo basic identification and documentation.