Organisations from around the world fear new plan for Migration Act in Chile

According to a letter from human rights organisations, there are grave flaws in the project and the Chilean senate is wrong to process it during the pandemic when civil society participation is limited

Over 130 organisations from around the world have signed a letter in which they express concern over the draft Migration and Foreigners Act, currently being processed in the Chilean parliament. According to the text, if it is approved, there will be a huge step backwards in Chile regarding this matter. 

In the letter, the organisations state that the draft bill is not aligned with standards of equality and ignores discrimination – principally in deportation procedures and attempts by migrants to access social benefits.

If approved, the act will also violate the Mercosul Residence Agreement, as it does not include mechanisms for permanent legalisation in Chile which would force migrants to leave the country. 

The indignation expressed in the letter also highlights that the Chilean senate is undertaking this process during the Covid-19 pandemic which is leading to restricted social participation.

According to Alianza Américas, Conectas and Amnesty International Chile and other organisations that signed the letter, the matter does in fact require attention and changes to the country´s migration act are needed, but in the current situation of social isolation, debate has been suspended.

The migration act was adopted during the Pinochet dictatorship and does not acknowledge all the regional accords. Moreover, the letter, states that the new bill of law is seriously flawed and flies in the face of efforts being made in the region. Therefore, it should be changed by the Chilean congress by means of a wide debate, to take into account all the requirements for a fairer, more lenient law.

Read the full letter here

Find out more

Receive Conectas updates by email