SBS, DATELINE

ITALY’S MIGRANT BOOT CAMP

29.10.2019

 

Producer: Agnes Teek

Reporter: Amos Roberts

Editor: Micah McGown

 

 

 

 

 

 00:00:05:19

Tonight on Dateline

 

Sot: Thank you Bergamo

Thank you Bergamo

 

 

00:00:11:04

Welcome to Italy’s migrant boot camp.

 

Sot: Straighten up your uniform

 

 

 

00:00:18:00

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have landed on Italian shores over the past few years.

 

 

 

00:00:24:07

Giving rise to an Australian inspired immigration crack down.

in Australia. You have your own immigration policy, which I admire very well.  

 

00:00:35:16

It’s fuelled a surge in right wing populism.

 

  If you on the other hand want to cover your daughter or your wife with a bourqua, go back to your home and do whatever you want. Not in my country.

 

 

 

00:00:45:09 

And anti-migrant sentiment.

RED SHIRT 

Now all those boats arrive, we don't know which country they come from, and they sell drugs.

 

 

00:00:53:15

Can this unconventional experiment prove hard-working migrants deserve to stay?

 

 

 

 

00:01:20:23

 

ACROSS EUROPE, SOME COMMUNITIES ARE FEELING UNDER THREAT

 

THEY WORRY ABOUT THEIR CULTURAL IDENTITY BEING ERODED

 

AND THEY BLAME MIGRANTS

 

 

 

00:01:39:18

 

BUT In the northern Italian town of Bergamo, one man thinks he’s found a solution to THIS growing anti-migrant sentiment.

 

 

00:01:57:02

 CHRISTOPHE ENTERS ROOM

 

CHRISTOPHE

Good morning.

 

-Good morning. –

 

CHRISTOPHE:

Good morning.  Get up when I come in.  Put on your uniform.

 

-Yes, yes.

 

 

00:02:15:12

C - At the Academy we have some strict rules.

 

Each student, every day, is responsible for cleaning and tidying the room.

 

There must be respect towards the operators and the people working on the project, a lot of respect.

 

00:02:36:03

 

Founded a year ago, The Academy of Integration is a CONTROVERSIAL MIGRANT BOOTCAMP

 

CHRISTOPHE ENTERS ANOTHER ROOM 

Good morning. Why are you wearing flip-flops?

 

 - I’m about to pray.

 

CHRISTOPHE: Huh?

 

- I’m about to pray.

 

Where asylum seekers must demonstrate they are hardworking, upstanding citizens..

 

- Straighten up your uniform

 

….who deserve a place in society

 

 

00:03:01:00

It’s no surprise Academy director Christophe Sanchez has spent time in the army.

 

 

6C The discipline is needed to manage a group of 30,40,50 young men who are living together in a very restricted environment. Without rules, cohabitation becomes very difficult.

 

CHRISTOPHE INSPECTION CONT.:

Straighten your uniform.

 

CHRISTOPHE ENTERS ANOTHER ROOM

 

CHRISTOPHE:

Good morning.

 

- Good morning.

 

CHRISTOPHE:

Get up when I come in. Straighten your uniform and the collar.

 

Yes.

 

 

00:03:38:02

CHRISTOPHE IV:

Many Italian citizens saw these people, who cost the state 35 euros a day, idle from morning to night, hanging out at stations.  This creates somewhat of a conflict with the local population.

 

 

00:03:54:22

CHRISTOPHE ARRIVES IN OFFICE (6C / 38.10):

Good morning.

 

- Good morning.

 

 

 

 

 

00:04:03:20

 

WHAT MIGHT LOOK HARSH AND OPPRESSIVE - IS SEEN BY MANY STUDENTS -  AS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

 

INCLUDING - KEITA

 

KEITA IV:

I am Sayomba.  Sayomba Keita. I come from Senagal.  I’m 23.  I’ve lived in Italy for 2 years, 8 months.

 

K - this is the place I like. When I am free I always come here to rest because it's a beautiful place. 

 

 

 00:04:32:07

Keita was only 15 when he fled ethnic violence in his village.

 

Vulnerable and often exploited, he eventually made his way to Libya – and a perilous voyage to a strange new land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:04:50:15

 

 

KEITA INTERVIEW :  When I arrived here, I saw that people lived a normal life, like the one I had imagined for so long. (I thought) What can I do to live like them?

 

 

 

00:05:15:10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:05:43:20

He may have found the answer here at the academy for integration.

 

 

When I arrived, they woke me up at 6am on the dot to clean the room, the corridors

 

Following the rules here may be Keita’s unlikely path to residency.

 

SOT: Line up to the right.

 

 

Like most students he had his initial claim for asylum rejected and has lodged an appeal.

 

In Italy, as in other parts of Europe, he’ll stand a better chance if he shows he can fit it. This means speaking Italian.

 

Thank-you Bergamo.  Thank you Bergamo. 

 

Thank you Bergamo!

 

- Enjoy your studies.

- Thank you.

 

00:06:08:10

The Academy enforces gratitude. It’s a way of battling the misconception that migrants are ungrateful

 

With his appeal hearing only weeks away, Keita is eager to conform.

 

I have to know how Italians live, what they like, what they don't like, I have to know everything, for this reason I joined.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:06:33:00

ITALIAN TEACHER:

So which Italian football club do you support?  Keita, which club do you support?

 

- Juventus.

 

Juventus?  You also support Juventus?

 

- Yes.

 

 

 

 00:06:50:20

KEITA INTERVIEW:

I'm very worried. Yes. My goal today is to get a residency permit. That is my goal. 

 

If I don't have a residency permit I cannot live like everyone else. 

 

 

 

00:07:05:21

ITALIAN TEACHER:

And what else would you like to do in the future?

 

MIGRANT OFF CAMERA@

-       Have my voice heard

-       Have a permanent work contract.

 

TEACHER: Have a permanent work contract, yes.

 

 

00:07:17:05

CHRISTOPHE IV:

Over a period of time the goal of the Academy is to help these people and teach them the Italian language, Italian culture… 

 

 

00:07:27:03

STUDENT: An Italian woman.

TEACHER: An Italian woman. Would you like to marry an Italian woman?

 

- Sure

 

00:07:36:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:07:46:28

CHRISTOPHE IV:

So that, when they appear in court, they will have knowledge of Italian and an employment contract that could eventually help them obtain a residency permit.

 

So we either integrate them or, if we don’t. these people will end up moving into the black market, into crime, because they have no way of making a living.

 

 

 

00:08:06:01

So the city of Bergamo makes a deal with the migrants.

 

As well as attending Italian classes every day for 9 months, they to do unpaid community work four afternoons a week.

 

Then the Academy will help them get jobs with local businesses, and, hopefully, a permanent work contract…

 

 

00:08:26:27

ARRIVING CEMETERY:

Hi, good morning.

 

 

00:08:30:00

…which could be their ticket to residency.

 

 

00:08:34:20

NIGERIAN MIGRANT SINGING AS HE WORKS

 

 

00:08:38:11

Today, they’re helping clean the Bergamo cemetery.

 

 

00:08:41:23

 

SINGING

 

 

00:08:42:13

CHRISTOPHE IV:

Let's not forget that we live in a very 'angry climate' today.

 

Now, the fact that the citizens can see young people who are keen, who clean the streets, who accompany old people, who bring foods to old people that are not self-sufficient, who clean their cemeteries.

and they have written "Thank you Bergamo" this is also a way to reconcile the angry feeling towards these people

 

00:09:13:00

A: People in Australia who see a group of black men working in the hot sun, for free, supervised by some white men, they’re going to find that quite disturbing?

 

CHRISTOPHE: Excuse me, but in Australia, if I’m not mistaken, you keep migrant prisoners on an island, don’t you?

 

A: Yes.

 

And you’re shocked because some kids in uniform do hours of volunteer work?

 

 

 

 

00:09:40:00

MUSIC – boorish excitement, anticipation, but with some ironic distance

 

 

00:09:40:25

It’s no accident the Academy was dreamed up in the Lombardy region –

THIS IS THE HEARTLAND OF A  FAR-RIGHT POLITICAL PARTY CALLED THE LEAGUE

 

Today it’s holding its annual rally, not far from Bergamo – supporters have travelled here from across the country.

 

 

00:10:16:00

QUESTION:

What do you think of the migration crisis in Italy at the moment?

 

 

00:10:10:25

RED SHIRT:

We are in favour of controlled migration. Now all those boats arrive, we don't know which country they come from, and they’re selling drugs, so it’s better to control it.

 

 

00:10:34:00

QUESTION:

Why do you think the migrants are such a problem?

 

00:10:36:20

BALD GUY:

Drug smuggling, prostitution, theft. 

 

 

 

?

RED SHIRT:

Around the cities it is not possible to live any more and you risk going out and getting all sorts of diseases. 

 

00:10:41:18

The party used to be known as the Northern League, and joked that anything south of Rome was Africa.

 

 

00:10:49:01

But its wildly popular leader, Matteo Salvini, has rebranded the party to attract support from across the country, exploiting concerns about uncontrolled migration.

 

 

00:11:01:04

SALVINI SPEECH:

If you on the other hand want to cover your daughter or your wife with a bourqua, go back to your home and do whatever you want. Not in my country.

 

00:11:10:04

Salvini was the interior minister, but left government in August after a failed bid for more power.

 

TODAY HE’S RALLYING SUPPORT FOR A COMEBACK.

 

Moved sot up

Someone in the crowd – Salvini you have to fix this chaos

 

His party is still Italy’s most popular and he’s Europe’s most-followed politician on Facebook.

 

 

00:11:34:00

Facebook gfx

SALVINI FB LIVE 00:12:22] The ones who got out of jail are coming, and because to be a criminal in Tunisia or in Morocco is dangerous, they come to be criminals in Italy. [00:12:32]

 

 

00:11:46:00

 

HE REGULALRY USES SOCIAL MEDIA TO DEMONISE MIGRANTS

 

 

00:11:51:07

Facebook GFX

 

UPSOT FB LIVE

 

MIGRANT: I don’t understand Italian.

 

SALVINI: “Don’t understand Italian.” Is there anyone who speaks Italian?  Thank you.  He’s tired because he’s fleeing war.

 

 

00:12:05:20

When in government he controversially removed humanitarian protection from tens of thousands of migrants.

 

Crowd chanting – Capitano

 

 

 

00:12:21:21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:12:39:24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MUSIC

hard-line_33430

 

Unlikely League senator, Toni Iwobi is an immigrant from Nigeria and has been a key supporter of Italy taking back control of its borders.

 

What we trying to achieve with this law is to stop this illegal immigration, 

 

Our policy doesn't stop anybody coming into Italy, through the right channel. Do you know how many immigrants enter the country, through the right channel? 

A – How many

Thousands of thousands of immigrants, from all over the world. trying to defend one’s border is not a crime.

 

And he admires Australia’s policy on asylum seekers 

 

This is happening all over the world, even in Australia. You have your own immigration policy, which I admire very well.  

A- Why what do you think of our policy? 

I - I admire because a massive control against the illegal immigration,

 

 

 

 

00:13:27:00

Like senator Iwobi, league SUPPORTERS AREN’T OPPOSED TO ALL MIGRANTS

 

 

 00:13:34:05

QUESTION:

Do you think it's possible for immigrants from other places, like Africa, for example to integrate, to become Italian?

 

BLONDE WOMAN:

It could be possible as long as they have a job, a home, and they pay taxes and respect the laws and rules. In this case yes.

 

 

00:13:55:00

 

If they arrive they have to be integrated into our city, into our nation. To become part of us.

 

 

 

 

 

00:14:03:20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:14:25:20

Move VO up under Amos walking into academy

 

This is music to Christophe’s ears. He is out to show migrants who embrace Italian values deserve to stay.

 

 

MUSIC Pinoneer 6

 

SOT: Okay Diedhiou, come with me for the inspection.

You too. We’ll inspect the rooms together.

 

 

 

QUESTION :

what do you expect from the students?

 

 

CHRISTOPHE IV:

I expect them to slowly come to love the country that is hosting them, to be grateful for the country that is hosting them.

 

00:14:43:08

CHRISTOPHE INSPECTION:

It’s not OK.  The bed is not straight.  Look here, here.  It isn’t straightened.  It’s not you who has to straighten it.

 

 

 

00:14:52:00

CHRISTOPHE IV CONT:

I often tell them, 'You cost 35 euros a day, which is about 1,080 euros a month, in Italy we have welfare benefits of 400 euros a month, so keep that in mind.'

 

 

00:15:07:00

CHRISTOPHE INSPECTION:

OK.  What is this? 

 

 

00:15:12:24

Nothing escapes Christophe’s eagle eye.

 

 

 

00:15:16:03

CHRISTOPHE INSPECTION:

Whose is it? 

 

- Souare.

 

Souare? Reprimand for Souare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:15:25:00

QUESTION:

Why are all the rules so important, because some of the rules they seem like little, little things, the bed, the collar…. Why do…? (Christophe looks aghast)

 

CHRISTOPHE ON BALCONY:

It's very, very important, it's an attitude, it's a respect we ask something, they have to do.

 

00:15:58:50

Despite his tough stand on immigration, Christophe’s not actually a populist or a right-winger – in fact, he supports the centre left Democratic Party.

 

 

SOT GORI ENDS SPEECH:

Thanks everyone.

 

APPLAUSE

 

And he is also the chief of staff for Bergamo’s Mayor.

 

UPSOT MAYOR TALKING TO CHRISTOPHE

 

Mayor –

 

- I have to update you on the meeting.

 

 

 

00:16:23:00

Christoph 6C What I hope for is that the Academy becomes a model that is replicable in other parts of Italy.

 

00:16:31:05

6C And I want to add that the issue is not aimed at right-wing voters, because if us on the left have lost so many votes it is, in fact, because we did not manage immigration before The fear, the perception, the insecurity is found among right wing and

left-wing voters alike.

 

 

 

 

 

00:16:01:00

 

 

While the image of an obedient migrant might win over voters, the academy rules and regulations aren’t for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

00:17:09:00

SAMBOU INTERVIEW@

My name is Abdou Sambou.  I’m from Gambia.

 

 

 

00:17:15:08

 

 

 

 

 

 

Far from home and missing his family Sambou feels like the Academy demands too much. 

 

SAMBOU INTERVIEW:

The difficulty here about the control. Definitely we are here... for me, that’s my observation, just like the military camp.

 

 

 

00:17:27:13

QUESTION:

You don’t think anybody is comfortable here?

 

SAMBOU:

Here?  Everybody’s afraid here.  I don’t know, apart from Keita everybody’s afraid here.  It’s totally desperate here, everybody here.

 

Q / What are they afraid of?

 

Because of life.  We don’t have the freedom here, we don’t have the freedom here.

 

This project is politic, I don’t know is kind of politic, for me it’s politic.

 

Q / You think it’s more about the politics than the people?

 

Yeah.  For me.

 

 

 

 

 

00:18:17:00

I WANt to know what life IS like for asylum seekers who aren’t part of the Academy…

 

 

00:18:22:05

OPENING DOOR

 

 

00:18:24:08

…and I DON’T have to go far to find out.

 

 

00:18:30:09

Most of the men in the Academy used to live next door – at a temporary migrant centre which hosts 250 asylum seekers.

 

 

00:18:39:12

DANIELLA GREETING MIGRANTS : Good morning.  Is everything OK?

 

 

00:18:43:10

Daniela Testa is in charge here -

 

 AND compared to Christophe SHE SEEMS VERY LAID BACK

 

 

00:18:51:00

DANIELA TOUR:

We have on the wall the set of rules that are the rules that every guest has to sign upon entering. They are very simple rules about living together essentially based and little more than that.

 

 

00:19:09:05

The migrants certainly have a lot more freedom here than at the Academy…

 

 

00:19:04:13

DANIELA ENTERS ROOM

 

 

00:19:15:00

…and Christophe would have a fit if he saw their bedrooms.

 

 

00:19:18:12

DANIELA ENTERS ROOM:

Ok this is one of the rooms, in the rooms we host between 3 and 5 people.

 

This is the African way of making the bed. It is rather difficult to get them use to using three bed sheets. So they have a rather unique use of the sheets. Some of them don't use them at all. Some use the blanket instead of a bed sheet.

 

 

00:19:53:00

QUESTION:

This is very different to the bedrooms in the Academy.

 

DANIELA:

Well, even the bed in my house is a bit different…

 

00:20:07:20

On the one hand it seems friendlier and more welcoming here – but then again, almost no one here expects to get residency.

 

Every week 5 people are asked to leave when their appeals are rejected – some will work illegally on farms and in sweatshops, others might end up begging in the streets, and some could turn to crime - fuelling the stereotypes that drive anti-immigrant feeling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:20:48:23

KEITA:

HI, HI

 

OWNER – And this t-shirt?

 

KEITA  Well, it was in the bag.

 

OWNER – It’s not ironed. If Sanchez sees you with this, he will get mad. You know that?

 

00:21:03:05

Keita, like most of the other migrants at the Academy, has a proper job.

 

 

00:21:12:12

Upsot

Kieta – Glass? Okay, do you want to try it?

C – No, it’s fine

 

00:21:16:23

 

KEITA INTERVIEW:

I work as a waiter at Mimmo's restaurant in Bergamo, in the old city. I've been working there as a waiter for four months.

 

 

00:21:36:00

If there’s a poster boy for the Academy, it’s Keita. He’s just been offered a permanent work contract here

 

UPSOT

K – We have the dessert menu

C – Yes please, leave it so I can have a look.

 

– and in a week’s time, he’ll be the first student to find out if he gets residency.

 

 

00:21:54:23

CHRISTOPHE IV:

Keita is a great guy. I'm very happy for him because he did a wonderful job at the Academy.

 

He had a lot of motivation, he learned Italian very well

 

 

 

00:22:15:00

CHRISTOPHE IV:

 

We introduced him to a restaurant manager who put him on a trial period, he was very happy with him, and today he was hired on a permanent basis.

For me, Keita is a success story that gives me great joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:22:48:01 

But not everyone is doing so well.

 

Despite a couple of work placements Sambou still doesn’t have a job.

 

 

00:23:00:10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:23:34:11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It think it's because I'm black. There were many women, no men were working there. 

males, not skin colour. - I think it's the colour. 

no, don't make up an excuse. It's the ability to work.  

What job is there? Everybody who worked there were women. - SambouSambou

it's about the capability to work. Because if I'm an employer, and you are a productive person 

I'll take you. And these people who agreed to participate in projects with the Academy 

don't have any problem with racism. Is this clear? 

 

With the date of his residency court hearing in three months  - Sambou is understandably nervous.

 

 

So instead of brooding, or being angry, roll up your sleeves, be good at school 

improve your Italian. We're in September, you still have three months to go.  

 

is this clear? - yes. - good. - Do you have other questions? 

 No. Thank you Sambou. -You're welcome. -  

 

 

 

 

 

 00:24:33:21

Tonight’s a special night at the Academy – Christophe is holding a ceremony to honour some of his hard working students.  

 

 

00:24:44:00

 

CHRISTOPHE SPEECH:

Student Keita. Keita has come a long way.

 

 

00:24:53:06

The Academy for Integration is a bold but risky experiment in a time of populism… it serves a political purpose, but for its founder, there’s more at stake than votes.

 

 

CHRISTOPHE SPEECH:

Today he’ll receive the third rank because he’s done a job, his job has been approved of, and he received a permanent work contract, which is the goal that we all have to keep in mind.  OK?

 

My compliments.

 

APPLAUSE

 

00:25:32:00

CHRISTOPHE IV:

I believe in common sense; if a man speaks Italian, has a permanent job, is financially independent, it would be very crazy to take this person and throw them into illegality, and in so doing marginalize them.

 

 

 

 

00:25:57:04

QUESTION:

What will you do if you’re not allowed to stay?

 

KEITA INTERVIEW:

If there's no other possibility I don't know how it will end. I really don't know.

 

My thoughts don't get there.  They don't get there.

 

 

00:26:16:13

Q / What is your dream for the future?  What do you hope for?

 

KEITA:

I would like to get married, have a family and become Italian.

 

 

 

00:26:33:14

TEXT:

Keita has now been granted temporary residency.

 

The judge said it was due to his success at the Academy.  

 

 

00:26:46:07

TEXT:

Sambou has found a job and is still waiting for his appeal to be heard.

 

00:27:01:07

END

 

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