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Despite Cries of Xenophobia, Argentina Looks to Tighten Immigration Control

By: Raquel García - @venturaG79 - Nov 15, 2016, 7:22 am
The measures about migration controls was approved by president Mauricio Macri and is being evaluated by the Argentinean chancellor (Nexofin)
Argentina looks to tighten immigration control laws as the government faces accusations of xenophobia. (Nexofin)

EspañolAs Argentina looks to tighten immigration control laws, it is clear that the United States isn’t the only country about to crack down on its immigration policies.

The country is preparing a decree that will tighten regulations of its immigration law, including investment in infrastructure at border crossings, among other things.

The initiative is reportedly spearheaded by the country’s Ministries of Security and Interior, with the approval of President Mauricio Macri.

The initiative could see investment in more up-to-date computers and improvements in systems for detecting criminal records and capture orders, as well as more stringent questionnaires, implementation of transit cards for crossing the border, acceleration of the expulsion of immigrants and the authorization of detention centers for holding immigrants until deportation.

“What the President wants is to go toward a path where people of good will can enter and stay, not criminals,” official sources told the Argentine newspaper Clarín.

Some officials have said they want to prevent these measures, as they consider them xenophobic — a concern that is reportedly on high alert for many in politics after the victory of Donald Trump in the United States, and after Argentinian Senator Miguel Angel Pichetto’s controversial statement regarding Peruvians and Bolivians living abroad.

According to Clarín, one of the main objectives of the new policies will be to streamline the processes that are currently in place so as to detect people with a history of serious crime, or who present false documents.

Over the last 10 years, 2.3 million requests for deportation were made, 15,000 expulsion orders were issued and 70 were materialized, according to the Ministry of Interior.

“That system does not work,” one official said.

“We are going to look for those that have a criminal conviction and those that have been convicted can not re-enter,” the official told Clarín.

Officials said they are also looking into the implementation of more complex questionnaires that probe for the reason people are entering the country, whether it be work, study or tourism, and the accommodations each person has while staying.

The Ministry of the Interior reportedly warned that the questionnaire is in direct contradiction of the agreements established by Mercosur. The Argentinean Foreign Ministry is reportedly evaluating all alternatives to the policy.

Since 2002, there have been no improvements to border-crossing infrastructure, according to government officials.

Source: Clarín.

Raquel García Raquel García

Raquel García is a Venezuelan journalist with over 16 years of experience in digital outlets and radios. She currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Follow her @venturaG79.