Vatican says change Italy citizenship law

Jan. 8, 2013 at 3:42 PM

ROME, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The Vatican supports proposed changes in Italian law to allow automatic citizenship to children born to immigrant parents in Italy, a church official said.

The Rev. Giancarlo Perego, director general for migrants' issues with the Italian Bishops Conference, said at a Vatican Radio presentation Tuesday the church favors "recognition of the right of citizenship for children of immigrants born in Italy," including the right to vote, "encouraging the growth of democracy and social cohesion."

Current law says children of Italian citizens are citizens at birth, but those born to non-Italian parents on Italian soil become eligible for citizenship on their 18th birthday, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The present system has been called "pure folly" by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, and a bill to change the law was submitted to Parliament during the summer.

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