Following Berlin’s terrifying terror truck attack in mid-December, an Italian police official reportedly sent around a directive to police stations calling for the deportation of immigrants and centers to house them prior to removal, Reuters reported Saturday.
The two-page directive was penned by police chief Franco Gabrielli and sent to stations around Italy on Friday, calling for local officers to find and deport immigrants. Gabrielli wrote his officers should take “extraordinary action” in order to “control and remove irregular foreigners,” according to Reuters, which said it had seen the directive.
“We don’t want to be killjoys, but neither can we be the country which carries the burden of the migration influx for the whole of the EU,” Gentiloni told the parliament’s lower house after his election.
Italy, along with a number of EU countries like Germany, has experienced a flood of immigrants and refugees and by November of last year almost 160,000 reportedly arrived, possibly pushing Italy past Greece as the nation accepting the most refugees, NPR reported.
Presently, Italy has four centers meant to house immigrants and refugees before deportation and together they are capable of housing roughly 360 people, but the Interior Ministry is aiming to open 16 more detention centers for about 1,000 more people, the ministry source told Reuters.
Over the last three years, more than 500,000 immigrants have arrived in Italy with more than 4,400 dying while traveling by boat from Libya to Italy.
Furthermore, a ministry source also told Reuters, that Interior Minister Marco Minniti intends to open several new detention centers that will hold immigrants until they are deported, working under pressure from other European Union countries.
Tensions in Italy are high for a number of reasons, including the new government of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who only came to power last month. The truck attack in Berlin that killed 12 people led to a multi-national manhunt for suspected terrorist Anis Amri, who was eventually shot and killed by Milan police.
Gentiloni took over for Matteo Renzi, who resigned, after winning a vote of confidence in Italy’s senate on Dec. 13, and he did pledge to bring other EU members into the fold in dealing with the mass migrations washing on to his countries shores.