I began research for this book over a decade ago, and started the writing in the summer of 2001. During this time, numerous changes have taken place. New federal and regional laws and policies are drafted and passed almost weekly. The political landscapes in Italy and Spain are shifting once again as this goes to press. The bankruptcy of, and corruption charges against, the Italian dairy empire, Parmalat, have shaken popular support for Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi even more than his own past and present scandals have, with skyrocketing inflation since conversion to the euro adding to growing discontent with “Il Cavaliere.” Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, having lost favor due to his alliance with US President Bush in the unpopular invasion of Iraq, amplified by the tragic train bombings in Madrid, is poised to step down and his Popular Party is to be replaced by the Socialists who won election in March, 2004. The dizzying frequency of new immigration laws and this transitional political climate virtually ensure that by the time this book is read, new political administrations will be in place and immigration policies will have undergone several rounds of changes.
While I have tried to incorporate updates throughout the writing process, it is ultimately a losing battle, and I have finally surrendered to the indomitable force of the passing of time and the daily remaking of history.