At least five hundred migrants have been evictee from Italy’s second-largest refugee center, the Italy’s government claimed it is “helping Italians,” but the town complains that years of hard work are being ruined.
The Italian government deported over 500 people from the country’s second largest refugee center on Tuesday and Wednesday, shipping people off in buses to undisclosed locations.
The mayor of Castelnuovo di Porto, the small suburb north of Rome, said that the migrants were removed from his town with little warning or further information.
Thousands of migrants have passed through Castelnuovo di Porto in the past decade, and it was famously the site of Pope Francis’s traditional Easter foot washing in 2016.
The move comes a little more than month after a new immigration law, dubbed “Salvini’s decree,” after hardline anti-immigrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, came into force.
The refugees were deported after staging a mass sit-in against the move on Tuesday. Interior Minister Salvini, leader of the far-right Lega (League) party, claimed that the center had become a haven for drug-dealing and crime. He has promised that the removed migrants will be sent to other “beautiful places.”
According to Italian daily Corriere della Sera, some of the 535 migrants have been shipped off to other detention centers, but hundreds are expected to be deported.