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Pope Francis backs pro-immigrant legislation

Italy's Radical Party to overhaul the country's restrictive migration policy and regularize those who are here illegally.
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Vatican City, Jun 21: As the issue of migrants has consumed national politics Pope Francis has supported proposed legislation aimed at better integrating migrants into Italian society and the workforce.

Pope Francis backs pro-immigrant legislation

Francis noted today that he had met with some refugees this week as the UN marked world refugee day. The pope, who has prioritised the plight of refugees in his four-year papacy, said he wanted to voice his appreciation for a campaign backed by Italy's Radical Party to overhaul the country's restrictive migration policy and regularize those who are here illegally.

Currently, these children can apply for citizenship only at the age of 18. Pope stopped short, however, of backing a separate, government-backed proposal to give citizenship to children of migrants born or educated in Italy.

Italy has been put under increasing pressure as EU partners have refused to relocate large numbers of asylum seekers.

More than 175,000 asylum seekers live in Italian shelters. With sea arrivals at a record pace in 2017, the issue is hotly debated by politicians facing a general election within a year.

PTI

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