Immigration Policies in Italy: Their Impact on the Lives of First-Generation Moroccan and Egyptian Migrants

A. Paparusso, T. Fokkema, E. Ambrosetti

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This paper analyzes the impact of Italian immigration policies on migrants’ lives. Policies and changes in policies can affect migrants’ capabilities to stabilize themselves in the host country, in terms of legal residence and secure labor conditions, as well as their chances of becoming part of the host society. We argue that, together with border controls, these are crucial ways through which immigration policies may have the postulated effects on the lives of migrants. We use data from 59 in-depth interviews conducted with first-generation Moroccan and Egyptian migrants living in two Italian cities, Turin and Rome, in the period 2011–2013. The results show that Italian immigration policies do not successfully control migration inflow, but effectively hinder the stability of migrants’ legal status and the status transition from temporary residence to permanent residence and subsequent Italian citizenship. In this way, Italian immigration policies largely affect migrants’ capabilities to be part of the host country; this gets in the way of integration, social cohesion, and future migration projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-546
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Issue number2
Early online date17 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • policy effectiveness
  • migrant status
  • Italy
  • qualitative research
  • non-ssci
  • SJR


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