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Immigration Policies for Migrants in Italy 2001-2017: a Case Study of Bangladeshi Small Business Owners in Romagna Region of Italy

Student: Sambhavna Biswas

Supervisor: Sanjay Kumar Rajhans

Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences

Educational Programme: Political Analysis and Public Policy (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2018

This thesis analyzes the policies and legislations (EU and Italian) that have led to Bangladeshi immigration to Italy. It focuses specifically on Bangladeshi small business owners and their trajectory towards starting a business. It also investigates whether the current policy environment makes it easier or difficult to start a business. The study finds that Bangladeshis used the Martelli Law extensively to enter Italy in the 1990s. Many of the present entrepreneurs interviewed, worked for a few years under the ‘quota system’ introduced in 1998, earned some money and started their business. Networks have played a very important role in the establishment of the Bangladeshi community in Italy where former migrants paved way for subsequent migrants to arrive by passing credible information and assistance. Regularizations, which have been a distinguishing feature of Italian immigration policies have also been crucial in the establishment of this community. The thesis concludes that the current environment does not have much impact on Bangladeshis who are already settled and own a business. However, Bangladeshis arriving in recent times will find it much harder to start a business because the legal ways of entering Italy have reduced significantly.

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