Italian Voters Say “Basta!” To Mass Illegal Migration
Following the victory of center-right parties in Sweden’s elections two weeks ago, anti-mass-immigration forces won Sunday’s election in Italy. Another Western nation has used the ballot box to oppose unchecked immigration, particularly large-scale illegal immigration (with the overreaching arrogance of EU bureaucrats also playing a role). It is unlikely that the globalist, open-borders elites on both sides of the Atlantic will get the (not so subtle) hint and curb their enthusiasm for mass migration into the West. That smug, patronizing, and out-of-touch attitude, however, is likely to lead to even more populist wins for the simple reason that voters don’t like seeing their legitimate concerns dismissed or demonized by those who are supposed to be representing their interests.
The big winner of Italy’s election was Giorgia Meloni and her national conservative Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia) party. She is set to become the Southern European nation’s first female prime minister – something the mainstream media seems rather unenthusiastic about. Meloni’s coalition partners are Matteo Salvini’s League (Lega) party and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forward Italy (Forza Italia) party. Salvini had been interior minister and deputy prime minister in 2018-2019 and was well-known for his tough stance against illegal immigration. Berlusconi, a wealthy businessman and one-time prime minister, also attempted to crack down on massive illegal immigration into Italy during his time in office.
In the illegal immigration context, the Mediterranean Sea is the functional equivalent of the U.S. Southwest border. Large numbers of illegal aliens arriving in Italy by boat has been a persistent issue for a long time, particularly after the overthrow of Libya’s dictator Muammar Gaddafi over a decade ago threw that nation into chaos and civil war. The EU only made it harder for Italy to secure its maritime border. Thus, in 2016 Italy saw more than 180,000 migrants arrive via the Mediterranean. Although these numbers dropped significantly when Salvini served as interior minister, they have been once again climbing in recent years, reaching 60,000 in 2021. It is estimated that 100,000 illegal boat migrants may arrive this year, thereby underscoring the upward trajectory. And the consequences are often far from rosy, with almost half of all violent sexual assaults in Italy being committed by foreigners.
During the election campaign, Meloni called for an EU-led naval blockade of Libya, with the North African nation’s approval, to stem the growing illegal migrant flow. Emphasizing that “borders must be defended,” the incoming prime minister also pushed for deporting illegal aliens and opening hotspots – operated under the aegis of the EU – in Africa to help migrants closer to home while simultaneously proposing vetting asylum-seekers at the point of origin. She has also proposed pro-family tax cuts, a policy aiming to increase falling Italian birthrates rather than trying to make up demographic deficits through mass immigration.
The frustrated and exasperated Italian voters seemed to think this was a pretty good plan, thus lending their trust to Meloni and her allies. How much she will be able to accomplish remains to be seen. But the election results clearly indicate that the Italian public, like voters in Sweden and elsewhere, want unchecked migration brought under control.