The Italian debate on immigration in the last three decades has been dominated by two issues – the management of legal flows for the purpose of employment and the control of irregular flows. This particular focus is typical of a phase of tumultuous development of immigration and Italy indeed was transformed from a legal presence of 148,000 foreigners in 1970 to 2.7 million in 2004. This is very similar to what happened in Spain, Portugal and Greece, all countries which changed from source to destination countries. From this point of view it is possible to present the Italian experience as somehow representative of a new Southern European informal migration regime. The delicate political issue of how to organize some legal and selected economic migration and efficiently curb irregular flows has not been solved. Despite general opinion, however, some substantial improvements have taken place. These issues have played a key role in France as well. The 1974 decision to curtail labour migration to France, never challenged substantially thereafter, has given a more prominent status to the issue of integration without diminishing the emphasis on border control and expulsion policies.