Italy is at breaking point, with 181,000 migrants travelling to the country, mostly by boat, in the last year.
And the government in Rome estimated the nation could only take a total of 200,000.
The country’s answer to the crisis is the Minniti-Orlando decree, which will see several detention centres built at a cost of £13 million to the taxpayer, which will act as depot for migrants returning to their homeland.
But 50 refugees took to the streets in Piazza Nettuno in Bologna to demonstrate against “the walls of policy and expulsions”.
The migrants were keen to shatter the notion that they simply scrounge off the state and came to Italy for an easy ride.
One refugee said: “We are accused of living in hotels paid with the money of Italian people, but in fact we waited in silence in reception centres.”
The new decree, which could fast-track deportation for potentially thousands of migrants, has left the African cohort feeling despondent.
One protester said: “None of us believes in the promise of asylum and hospitality.
“If we still stay here silently then we will never have the permission needed to live and move freely in Italy and Europe.”
The Italian government has also set aside funds for the management of the new proposed deportation centres, which will cost €3.8million in 2017, €12.4million in 2018 and €18.2million in 2019.
A further €19.1million has also been allocated for 2017 alone to ensure the speedy exit of illegal immigrants, which the government said would be made “in consideration of the exceptional influx of foreign citizens from North Africa”.
These funds will be taken from the Fami-Fund Kindergarten program, migration and integration co-financed by the European Union.
European law dictates Italy must set up migrant centres, called “hotspots”, where officials can distinguish between those who merely claim to have fled persecution and those who actually have.