Every time you close an illegal loophole, you’re a racist and a xenophobe. This is like dialogue from a movie you’ve seen so often you can repeat the words along with the socialists:
…”There’s one law that obliges me to report illegal immigrants and another that gives them the right to get married. Don’t you think that’s ridiculous?” Put like that, it doesn’t seem very logical but Giuseppe Prevedini, the Northern League mayor of Caravaggio, answered his own question, in the manner beloved of [TV chat show host, Gigi – Trans.] Marzullo. He issued a by-law that obliges non-Italians wishing to get married at Caravaggio to present a residence permit. “We wanted to plug a gap in the law and relieve our registry officers of this responsibility”, explains Mr Prevedini. But it doesn’t look as if the initiative was prompted by a love of law. Green Party regional councillor Marcello Saponaro, who was elected in the province of Bergamo, is unconvinced and called the ruling “illegitimate and xenophobic”.
In fact, the ban on weddings for illegals recalls moves by other Northern League mayors around the north of Italy. Mr Prevedini continues, “How can I expect residents to respect laws and official institutions if I allow other people to sidestep those very laws?” At Caravaggio, they discovered a loophole in legislation regulating weddings that involve non-Italians. Until yesterday, a non-Italian national wanting to marry an Italian anywhere in Italy merely had to present the registrar with a passport or equivalent document issued by a consulate. Two years after tying the knot, the non-Italian could acquire Italian citizenship. But this would have enabled illegals to sidestep regularisation procedures by contracting sham marriages.
I believe this particular work- around regarding citizenship exists here in America, too. Sham marriages, for a certain amount of money to the American spouse – or sometimes, just “sympathy” on the part of the U.S. citizen – can be arranged for the necessary time here to make the foreigner legal.
I was told it was five years in America, but I’m sure I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong. Our readers are better than Wikipedia in that regard. One person who entered into such a contract told me that immigration people used to check up on her to make sure her spouse was still around. I think she married a college friend. But that was back in the days before the flood of illegal immigrants took up all the oxygen in the room.
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Come to think of it, if that law is still in effect, single people could make some money marrying immigrants whose visas are running out. Surely there is some entrepreneur out there who will be setting up shop soon.
Remember the guy in Miami who charges illegal immigrants for information about how to get into Canada and make things unworkable up there, too? The Canadians blamed us instead of that ambitious Haitian immigrant who dreamed up his scheme.
Meanwhile, back in Italy:
Caravaggio has closed the loophole by requiring non-Italians to present their residence permit when they marry. Ettore Pirovano, a Northern league senator and deputy mayor of Caravaggio, says “This regulation is in defence of society. Many elderly people could be duped into marrying young women from abroad, perhaps for a fee”. Yet it is difficult to claim that Caravaggio residents have been swept off their feet by a passion for non-Italians. In the last three months, there have been only three suspicious marriages. “But this is a question of respect for the law”, says Senator Pirovano. Caravaggio has 15,000 residents, of whom 7% are non-EU citizens, a proportion in line with the rest of Lombardy but lower than in neighbouring districts, and it is not the first time that the town has passed by-laws that are not exactly welcome mats for non-Italians.
I’ll admit I hadn’t thought of these May-December alliances that the deputy mayor has suggested. Hmmm…I see the makings of a Broadway musical here.
If we still had Broadway musical comedies…
I can picture the elderly Italian leading man, singing an old Dean Martin song, and a buxom young Gypsy, winking and pick pocketing her way through the play.
No, I didn’t believe that about Gypsies either until I worked at a children’s hospital and one of the Gypsy babies was admitted for heart surgery the next day. Before that huge extended family had left the waiting room, most of the people waiting with them had been deftly robbed. When loud complaints went up, one of the Gypsy women became hysterical in order to deflect attention. It didn’t work for long, though. One of the pediatric surgical residents came over and put a paper bag over her head to make her stop hyperventilating and then the police came…
Yes, definitely: the kernel of a musical comedy is in there somewhere. I wonder who could play Mayor Giuseppe Prevedini? I mean, they don’t make actors like they used to. For one thing, most of the men all look like metrosexuals.
I know — we could put Robert Duvall in a black wig with a good moustache.
Hat tip: insubria