Berlusconi (r) has stepped up relations with Tripoli in a bid to rein in a massive influx of migrants [AFP]

Italy's government is cracking down on illegal immigrants.

Strict new laws have made unauthorised migration into Italy a criminal offense.  
Recently, Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, signed a pact with Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, because nine out of ten of those migrants leaving Africa through Libya arrive in Italy.

Berlusconi and Gaddafi agreed that Italy can push back boats coming from Libya, without checking whether any of those on board are asylum seekers escaping persecution.

Italian ministers say that this move and other new anti-immigration laws are a natural response to the Italian publics' concern over escalating violence and crime, which many blame on migrants.

Perhaps the most controversial move is the legalising of volunteer groups known as citizen patrols, or Ronde. 

This episode of People & Power can be seen from September 2, 2009 at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 0600, 1230; Thursday: 0130, 1400, 1930; Friday: 0630, 1630; Saturday: 0330, 2030; Sunday: 0030, 0530; Monday: 0830.

Source: Al Jazeera