World

Bill to let immigrant children become Italians stirs protest

A proposed bill to let immigrants' children become Italians has stirred protest in Rome.

Right-wing protesters marched in Rome Thursday near the Senate, where the bill is being considered. Inside, senators from an anti-migrant party, some holding "stop invasion" signs, interrupted the session.

Currently, foreigners born in Italy can seek citizenship only when they turn 18 and if they have lived in the country since birth.

The bill would allow those born in Italy to immigrant parents holding long-term residence permits to seek Italian citizenship as young as age 12 if they have done five years of schooling here. Foreign children not born in Italy could also apply, as long as they have done five years of schooling before becoming adults.

Some 800,000 children could become Italian citizens if the proposal becomes law.