Cristián Doña-Reveco, PhD. Sociology and History, Michigan State University and Amanda Levinson. ThirdSpace Consulting
Considering Chile an immigration country is a new thing; in fact its net migration is still negative. The last twenty years, however, have seen a change in the migration flows to the country.
This has been result of the democratization process after the end of Pinochet’s dictatorship, a continuous economic progress and a perception of a country in social tranquility when compared with its neighbors. Between 1992 and 2012, immigration has increased from about 114,000 people to 352,000, primarily from Peru, Argentina and other South American and Latin American countries. The democratic governments have had since 1990 an erratic approach to this increase in migration.
While in the discourse the state argues that migrants must be received with respect to migration international treaties signed by the country; in practice the same migration policies and laws developed during the dictatorship are still in use. Consequently, policy implementation has been equally inconsistent; some departments create programs to encourage social integration, while others attempt to restrict immigrant adaptation and have mismanaged judicatory claims. Within this bureaucratic context, this paper examines Chile’s current attempts to construct migration policies and its implementation, and the possible effects that these policies might have in the social, political and economic development of the country.
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