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Undocumented Migrants and Underground Work. Laboratorio Rosarno Politecnico di Milano, 12 November 2010. Immigrants in Italy. Source: Istat. Irregular Migrants.

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undocumented migrants and underground work

Undocumented Migrants and Underground Work

Laboratorio Rosarno

Politecnico di Milano, 12 November 2010

immigrants in italy

Immigrants in Italy

Source: Istat

irregular migrants

Irregular Migrants

A migrant is irregular if he doesn’t get regular document that permit to live and work in a third country. We can call their also undocumented migrants.

how many irregular migrants are in italy

How many irregular migrants are in Italy?

Sources: Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labour and ISMU

who are the overstayers

Who are the overstayers?

The majority of irregular immigrants enter in Italy with a regular visa, to then stay on once it has run out. This category, called overstayers, (in France also distinguished between “faux étudiant, faux tourists”) represents the real weak point in the chain of control.

why do the irregular immigrants want to come in italy

Why do the irregular immigrants want to come in Italy?

The pull factors

Family and social networks

Weakness of border checks


Underground Work

transnational theory

Transnational Theory

Macro structures: include the political economy of the world market, interstate relationship, the laws, structures and practices established by the states of sending and receiving countries to control migration settlement.

Micro structures: are the informal social networks developed by the migrants themselves.

the social networks

The social networks

“Migration decisions are not made by isolated individuals, but by families, households or even communities.”… “Family linkages often provide the financial, cultural and social capital which make migration possible, the irregular migration too.” We can call Autonomy of Migration

“The age of Migration” by S. Castles and M. J. Miller


turkish immigrants in germany in thousands

Turkish immigrants in Germany (in thousands)

Source: Statistischen Bundesamts Deutschland



Regularisation can be classified on the basis of differing criteria:

1. The first is the political-juridical ratio of each regularisation. Regularisation can be divided in: A) pragmatic: that is to say, they take note of objective given data and ,B) humanitarian: based on merit evaluation of the conditions of the potential beneficiary;

2. The second criteria is that relative to the type of procedure that we can distinguish in A) extraordinary and collective or, B) punctual with permanent regularisation mechanisms based on the individual.

regularisations in italy

Regularisations in Italy

In Italy the regularisations adopted have been 7 in 25 years (8 if we consider the Quota system decree of 2006 ) and are of very high numbers

In Italy the choice of regularisation is linked also to the consolidated tradition of amnesty, that is to say a measure that nullifies sanctions or penalties (fiscal, building speculation,..etc..)

Of the 4 million official immigrants present in Italy more than 50% entered as undocumented migrants

extraordinary regularisation in italy

Extraordinary Regularisation in Italy

Sources: Istat, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labour

underground economy

Underground Economy

The main reason for such a wide presence of irregular migration is linked to the easy access to Italian territory even for irregular immigrants to work in the underground economy without being discovered. The countries of Southern Europe (Greece, Italy and Spain) are seen as States with the highest GDP produced from the underground economy.

The data following slide shows a structural weakness of Italy in combating underground work as entire sectors of the economy such as agriculture, building trade and home help assistance (INPS 2008) survive thanks to underground work which often employs irregular and regular immigrants.

irregular rates per unit work for different economic sectors 2001 2009

Irregular rates per unit work for different economic sectors 2001 - 2009

Sources: Istat, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labour

conclusions so that rosarno riots won t happen anymore

Conclusions so that Rosarno riots won’t happen anymore

Fighting the underground economy

Different programs for recruitment of skilled anunskilled migrants

Fewer regularisations and less amnesty

More rights for Migrants and fighting criminality

Less demagogic political speech



M.C. Chiuri, N. Coniglio e G. Ferri, “L’esercito degli invisibili. Aspetti economici dell’immigrazione clandestina”, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2008.Annuari statistici del Ministero Affari Esteri, 2003 – 2008AA. VV., “Quindicesimo rapporto sulle Migrazioni 2009” a cura della Fondazione ISMU, Franco Angeli, Milano 2009.Ministero del Lavoro, della Salute e delle Politiche Sociali, “Rapporto annuale sull’attività di vigilanza in materia di lavoro e previdenziale”, anno 2007.S. Castles and M. J. Miller, “The age of Migration”, Palgrave macmillan, London, 2009ISTAT, Indagine conoscitiva su taluni fenomeni distorsivi del mercato del lavoro (lavoro nero, caporalato e sfruttamento della manodopera straniera), Roma, 15 aprile 2010 (http://www.istat.it/istat/audizioni/150410/Audizione.pdf)A. Leogrande, ”Uomini e caporali. Viaggio tra i nuovi schiavi nelle campagne del Sud”, Mondadori, Milano, 2008,G. Zucca, “Arginare i mille rivoli del Lavoro Nero”, www.immigrationflows.net

contacts pietro vallone www immigrationflows net pietro vallone@gmail com

Contacts:Pietro Vallonewww.immigrationflows.netpietro.vallone@gmail.com