This story of immigration is some weeks old. But my reflections are new.
A 20-year old Nigerian girl, Faitha, who used to live inside the CARA – “Centro per l’Accoglienza di Richiedenti Asilo”, that is a welcome centre for refugees – in Castelnuovo di Porto – closed to Rome – was forced to leave the centre and to go to Lecce (Apulia). Alone, with no health assistance and during the last days of her pregnancy.
A journey by train usually lasting from 7 to 11 hours, with no friends and no idea about where she was going to. People who welcomed this girl in Lecce were shocked and immediately carried her to the hospital, where she delivered a little girl, Aliya.
The CARA in Castelnuovo is the centre for refugees which Mr. Salvini decided to close. By doing this, he caused a group of desperate people asking for asylum to go around Italy, with the excuse that, in this way, Italy is going to save millions of euros. I add, in this way, illegal immigration is going to increase.
While they were in the rush to close the centre, they forgot about the most basic rules of human relationships. How could they decide to put a refugee – protected by the law – on a train when she could not speak Italian, she was probably fleeing the terrible fights against Boko Haram in the north of Nigeria, she had no health assistance and she was pregnant? Negligence, disregard, carelessness, fear of Salvini’s prefect’s rage, indifference?
If they started an inquiry, we would know who is responsible for this action – with the following Italian “scarica barile”, that is “buck-passing”. However, it doesn’t matter: the problem here is not the single person, but the State – with capital “S” – which allowed or better created this situation, forcing someone to obey to a merciless order. A state which disregarded two human beings’ future.
A European constitutional state cannot banish mercy. It cannot be coward. It cannot be indifferent and savage.
Otherwise it is very similar to the country this young Nigerian girl fled from.