It’s early evening in Catania, Sicily, and the central station is once again thronged with African asylum seekers. Every night they come here—their meagre possessions in tow, seagulls wheeling madly overhead—to catch buses and trains to other parts of Italy, where they are to be resettled.
Some have come from the CARA Mineo asylum-seeker reception centre to the south—a former United States military base currently housing nearly 3500 people, almost twice its official capacity, making it the largest and most controversial camp in Italy—while others have made their way here from other parts of the island. Some have been waiting for weeks, others for months. But not everyone will be leaving this evening.