Presidential candidates urged Chile to deal with migrants

Sebastian Pinera

The question of dealing with immigrants has become one of the key ahead of presidential elections in Chile. About it reports Reuters.

Usually, as indicated earlier, Latin American politicians not to resort to such rhetoric. However, this time the right-wing and left-wing parties stated the need to restrict immigration into the country. For example, former President Sebastian Pinera, the candidate of the center-right party “National update”, said that the Chilean migration laws are outdated and only serve to “import problems, including crime and drug trafficking”.

“Many gangs in Chile consist of foreigners, he said. — Particularly penalized in regions where immigrants constitute a large percentage of the population.”

Its main rival, the candidate of the left Alejandro Giler, suggested that Chile needed a “more selective migration policy”.

Human rights groups have accused both candidates in the exploitation of nationalist rhetoric and the desire to make migrants the scapegoats for the economic problems of the country, and the state office for care of migrants said that the rating of crime among immigrants is lower than among the indigenous population. However, surveys show that about 75 percent of Chileans believe the country needs strict laws restricting migration. 45 percent said immigrants “a disaster” for the country, 41 percent considered their presence a blessing.

In recent years, Chile, whose economy grew steadily became one of the points of attraction of labour migrants from other countries of South America. Especially a lot of immigrants come from the poorest countries of the region — the Dominican Republic and Haiti (migration for the year increased by 144%) and Venezuela (an increase of 192%).

Presidential elections in Chile will be held on 19 November 2017.