Italy's far-right Northern League has presented a bill to castrate convicted rapists, after a series of rapes in Italy by suspected illegal immigrants.
Pisanu: No link between nationality and criminality
The bill says chemical or surgical castration of offenders is necessary to remove a social disease which is a threat to life and public safety.
But Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu has said crimes by immigrants should not influence policies on immigration.
The bill has been heavily criticised and is unlikely to be passed.
The anti-immigration Northern League is one of four parties in the centre-right coalition government.
"The comparison between illegal immigration and criminality is groundless and should not have an audience in a civil nation like ours," Mr Pisanu told parliament.
He said that the current laws are effective and therefore did not need changing.
Recent rapes in Bologna and Milan by suspected immigrants have led to anti-immigration rallies.
Some 53% of Italians think that the increase in the number of immigrants has increased the threat to citizens' safety while 45% said immigrants posed little or no threat to safety in the country, according to a poll commissioned by L'Espresso magazine this week.