The first two Italian laws were the Foschi law (1986) and Martelli law (1990) which were put in place to reduce irregularities and introduce provisions so that these irregular migrations do not happen in the future. Foschi law (1986) was the first law that was formulated to regulate the development of immigration flows in Italy.
According to this law, work permits could only be issued when it had been established that there were not enough Italian workers to fill specific jobs (Colombo 2013). The law also required regularisation of illegal immigrants and to grant social and economic rights to foreign workers with legal status. But the main problem with this law was that no amount of money was actually allocated to it and as a result the law could not be properly implemented. It is also important to note is that the bill was in favor of immigrants and it had a strong sense of solidarity towards them emphasising on equal opportunities for both foreign and Italian workers (De Bernardin 2013). The second law was the Martelli law of the 1990 which also tried to manage immigration. Migration management became a big issue especially because Italy at that time was getting a lot of migrants from Eastern European Communist regimes after its collapse especially from Albania and the former Yugoslavia. In 1995, a new decree was put into force called Dini Decree according to which 248,501 illegal immigrants had to be regularised and tougher measures had to be put into place against the smuggling and trafficking of immigrants. None of the above laws dealt with integration measures for foreigners in Italy.
Turco-Napolitano Act was the first “systematic law” approved by the centre-left government in 1998 and according to Zincone and Caponio (2005), it had four main features to regulate the immigration. The first was to prevent illegal immigration, the second was to regulate the entry of new foreign workers, the third was to facilitate integration of immigrants having a valid resident permit and fourth was to grant individual rights to the migrants. Temporary detention centres for illegal and irregular immigrants (CPT) were also created by this law.
It also introduced an important aspect which is called the annual quota system according to which a quota was put in place on the maximum number of foreigners who could enter Italy for work reasons.