Views #1045 | Advanced (C1)

Immigration in Italy

Yuri talks with Todd about controversy with immigration in Italy and how it has increased over the years.

Todd: Hey, Yuri, I thought we would talk a little bit about immigration because you're from Italy, and I'm from the U.S. and both of our countries have issues with immigration. Can you talk a little bit about the immigration issues now in Italy?

Yuri: Yes, immigration in Italy is a recent problem because until maybe the 80's the population was mostly Italian. Later we got a lot of people from Africa and from Eastern Europe, and people started getting a bit dodgy with that.

Todd: Right, so people were't happy that non-Italians were coming into the country basically?

Yuri: Right, some people think that it is bad for the economy, and some people think it's bad for Italy itself.

Todd: For the culture?

Yuri: For the culture itself.

Todd: So basically you said people came in you said to the economy for jobs to do … ? Were they coming in to do jobs that Italians didn't want to do?

Yuri: Basically we have two different kinds of immigration. Lately, a lot of people, they are from country with the war problems, so they try to come into Italy with boats. They are illegal. So, and what people think is that they shouldn't even try to come in.

Todd: Right.

Yuri: Other people think that, as Italian we are a real population. We immigrate all over the planet. Everybody should be welcome and get the favor back.

Todd: Right, so basically, the population in Italy is divided. Some people are for the immigration and some are against.

Yuri: Exactly, yes.

Todd: What are your feeling about immigration?

Yuri: Well, I myself have lived in different foreign countries. I always been welcomed. I never had problems with it, and I think that if people, they come to Italy, they're honest people, they want to work, please. No problem at all.

Todd: Is the Italian government trying to do anything to stop immigration or slow immigration, or are they trying to encourage it?

Yuri: It depends what government goes. Sometimes if it's a left government, they try to help. The right one, they try to stop.

Todd: So if somebody is caught trying to come into Italy on say a boat, are they expelled from the country?

Yuri: No, they get to refugees camps, and then since they are usually smart they come without papers, they are very difficult to track down, and they try to help them at the police. They don't beat them up or anything. No violence. The problem is the people that actually bring them in, they make a lot of money on them. That's the bigger problem. Also, they are connected with the mafia as well.

Todd: Yeah, the smuggling. The human traffickers. Yeah, the U.S. has the same problem. Anyway, thanks a lot. It sounds like it's very similar to the U.S.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson



People started getting a bit dodgy with that.

We use “dodgy” to describe a person who is dishonest or a situation that is risky or dangerous. “Dodgy” is always negative. Here are two examples:

  1. The dance club is in a dodgy part of town.
  2. Our former police chief was a corrupt and dodgy man.

refugee camps


They get to refugees camps and they come without papers.

A refugee camp is a place for people who have left their own country, often because of war or hardship. A refugee camp is usually temporary and the conditions are bad. Notice the following:

  1. The refugee camp across the border is crowded and dirty.
  2. Doctors treated the sick and injured at the refugee camp.

track down


They are very difficult to track down.

Track down means to look for something or somebody that is difficult to find. Here are two sample sentences using “track down”:

  1. It took the police one week to track down the thief.
  2. On my last visit, I tracked down my old friend from high school.

beat up


They don't beat them up or anything. No violence.

To beat someone up means to hit them again and again to cause injury. Someone is beaten up in a fight. Notice the samples:

  1. In primary school, the older kids sometimes beat up the younger kids.
  2. Some of the refugees were badly beaten up.

human traffickers


They are brought by smugglers or human traffickers.

A human trafficker is a dodgy person who takes people without proper travel papers to foreign countries. The people brought by a human trafficker are usually poor and work for little money in the new country. Here are two examples:

  1. Human trafficking is a major problem in developing countries.
  2. The UN has made great progress in reducing human trafficking.

Vocabulary Quiz

dodgy • refugees • track down
beat up • trafficer
  1. The led the people across the border.
  2. People who can not go to their own country are called .
  3. The salesman seemed so I did not buy the car.
  4. I used to get a lot in school so I took karate to defend myself.
  5. I was able to my old friend on Facebook.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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