The stories of ordinary injustice of 3 Italians without citizenship

The stories of ordinary injustice of 3 Italians without citizenship

Foreclosed careers, denied school trips, banned competitions: there are over a million Italians without citizenship (according to Istat data processed by an Openpolis research) who, despite having always lived in this country and studying here, are forced to lead a life different from theirs. classmates and their schoolmates. Some of these girls and boys have been looking to the Italian Parliament for years in the hope, increasingly weak after the stranded first of the Ius soli and then of the Ius scholae, that a new law on citizenship will finally be approved.

A question of income Hiba, 23, who arrived from Tunisia when she was 5, together with a brother and a sister, to be reunited with her father, a Tunisian fisherman in Mazzara del Vallo, says: “At sixteen I dreamed of enter the military academy, but my family never achieved the income necessary to get me citizenship. So, I enrolled at university and studied linguistic and cultural mediation. I graduated with full marks, even though I couldn't do Erasmus. To get the visa needed to participate in the EU student mobility program, too much money was needed. Now, however, I cannot participate in many calls, because they are reserved for Italian citizens, and many of the competitions that I could access even with only a residence permit are full of quibbles. It almost seems that they are written to sabotage our course of study "

“Dad had to retire due to health problems - continues the young woman -. My mother is a housewife, she has always been dedicated to the family. In our case, the problem of applying for citizenship is related to income, less than the eight thousand euros per person per year required, to be maintained for three years, to which five hundred euros must be added for each member of the family unit. If you do not reach and keep this figure, the request is rejected. And then there are the deadlines: for each bureaucratic process they are very long. If the offices do not respond in time, in the fourth year citizenship is not conferred due to the expiry of the terms ".


Excluded from the school trip Kristiana, 27, is Albanian, lives in Rimini since when he is six and a half years old. Her first confrontation with her being an Italian without citizenship? “In first grade. The school organized a small two-day trip abroad. I was the only non-EU citizen in the class and Croatia, where we were supposed to go, had not yet entered the European Union. My mother had to go to Rome to get me a visa. I managed to leave, but when I got to customs, I stopped for half an hour at the checkpoint and everyone was forced to wait for me, the Albanian. Even going on a trip, for those who have a fixed-term permit, is not easy: if the permit expires, you cannot leave the country because they will not let you return afterwards. And when you arrive at university you often have to give up cultural exchanges, including Erasmus ".

The dream of becoming a lawyer? Shipwrecked like many and many of his peers because not supported by the 'right' family: "We are a generation that lives in precariousness, but we Italians without citizenship have even fewer opportunities than others. I was still in school when I discovered that I could not pursue any military career, including in the Coast Guard and the Navy. I would also have been prevented from sailing as a student or on merchant or passenger ships. In the meantime, as a foreign citizen in my country, I am discovering all the other limitations of my not being considered Italian: there are difficulties in taking out a loan, even to buy a telephone in installments. Telephone companies have internal rankings of 'bad payers' also based on nationality and if you have the wrong one it is very difficult for you to get a free loan ”.


Discrimination in sport Many girls and boys without Italian citizenship also suffer discrimination in the world of sport, especially if they excel and decide to undertake a competitive path. Alexandra is one of them: born in Moldavia, she arrives at the age of five in Soave, in the province of Verona. She discovers a passion for sport in middle school; she starts with swimming and then chooses athletics. Her coach makes her try the gear because she sees her particularly gifted: an intuition that turns out to be brilliant, because shortly after her Alexandra starts competing, winning two provincial championships and then the regional one. “In 2019, I won the first Italian title and there I experienced firsthand that not having citizenship represented a huge obstacle - she says. The reason? Despite being the Italian champion in my category, I was unable to wear the blue jersey and represent Italy in an international competition that was held in Baku, Azerbaijan. In the last year I have won other prizes in Italy, the 3 kilometers, the 20 kilometers and recently the 10 thousand meters on the track. The problem is that in August there are the under 20 world championships but, except for miracles of the Italian bureaucracy, I will not be able to participate ”.


Champions and model students facing a rejecting country, an anachronistic country that does not take into account the changes in society. You are almost astonished that Hiba's first dream was to serve the country that does not resign itself to looking the children of a land made of arrivals and departures in the face. “For me it is important to be an active part of this country, my second homeland - she explains -. I am neither Italian nor Tunisian, I am a citizen of the world, but my culture is Italian. I know the Italian national anthem by heart, not the Tunisian one; I know the Italian Constitution, not the Tunisian one. Now I study diplomatic sciences and if one day I manage to obtain citizenship, I would like to represent Italy ".

In addition to Italian, Hiba speaks standard Arabic, French, English and Spanish; she started studying German to further expand her knowledge. It is almost natural to wonder why a girl so cultured and so open to the world does not use some tricks to obtain citizenship in another European country, then returning to Italy as a community. "I have often thought of leaving, but it would seem like a betrayal of Italy. I have an Italian boyfriend who asked me to marry him to help me get citizenship, but I want it on my own, not with a marriage that gives me a piece of paper to make my dreams come true. I grew up here: I have already left a land, Tunisia, I don't even think about leaving Italy ", she says.

Hiba, Kristiana and Alexandra have joined the Obiettivo Cittadinanza campaign promoted by the CittadinanzAttiva association and by the Italian movement without citizenship. The mission is to raise public awareness and explain who are the girls and boys who want to be citizens of their country: girls and boys who have nothing to do with illegal immigration or baby gangs, but live as unwelcome guests. at their home. "The law currently under discussion would help about 280 thousand Italian school pupils to obtain citizenship, but would cut out all those who in the meantime have grown up and have already completed five years of schooling for some time", explains Fioralba, activist of Italians without citizenship. . She studied in Italy from junior high school and now, 32 and a graduate, she still hopes to become Italian. Her husband is Albanian like her. They're expecting twins. They too will be born in Italy, they too will not be Italian.

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