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A banner in a town square in the French Alps reads “Welcome Refugees,” Chamonix, France, Oct. 22, 2016 (AP photo by Bertrand Combaldieu).

Disputes Over Migrants Along the Italy-France Border Expose Ongoing EU Policy Gaps

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Last month, authorities in Italy requested a formal investigation of five French border patrol agents in the Alps who entered Italy to perform an unauthorized drug test on a Nigerian citizen, in what the authorities say was a violation of Italian sovereignty. It was just the latest episode in months-long tensions at the French-Italian border near Col de l’Echelle, or Colle Della Scala, a high mountain pass in northwestern Italy that has become a popular route for migrants trying to enter into France.

In March, a volunteer mountain guide on the French side of the border was charged with facilitating illegal immigration after he rescued a migrant woman on the pass; she was nearly nine months pregnant. In April, an anti-migrant protest organized by a mainly French far-right group with branches in other countries, including Italy, led to clashes with the Italian police and pro-migrant activists. ...

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