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Italy defers law granting citizenship to second-generation migrants

Staff Writer |
The Italian cabinet deferred the discussion of a bill that would grant citizenship to foreign children born or raised in the country, local media said.

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Rather than being examined throughout the summer, as expected, the draft law would see its legislative proceedings delayed until autumn.

"Considering the urgent deadlines in the Senate calendar, and the difficulties that have arisen among some forces in the (government's) majority, I do not think conditions are right to pass the bill on citizenship before the summer break," Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in a statement on Sunday.

"Still, it is a just law, and my personal commitment - and that of the government - to approving it in autumn remains," he added.

The draft law would recognize as new citizens at least 800,000 young people already living in Italy, according to estimates by Leone Moressa Foundation based on official statistics.

More specifically, it would involve some 634,592 foreign minors born in Italy since 1998, plus 166,000 born abroad but attending Italian schools for at least five years.

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