NEW CENTER AT UTALCA WILL STUDY THE IMMIGRATION PHENOMENON IN CHILE

AS LETTER OF PRESENTATION, THE CENTER RELEASED A SURVEY THAT INQUIRED ABOUT THE INTENTION OF RESIDENT FOREIGNERS IN THE COUNTRY.



October 7, 2016

To study from a social perspective the situation of foreigners who come to live in the country, is the objective of the just born National Center for Immigration Studies of the University of Talca, a unit that belongs on the School of Political Science and Public Administration, of the Santiago Campus.

The director of the Center, Medardo Aguirre, explained that the decision to tackle this subject was taken due to the fact that it is a reality which the society must take charge.

"The UTALCA is a state university that has always had a lot of interest in the ties with the environment, which must assume that the growth of foreigners in Chile is exponential. If we take into account the CASEN survey, every two years about 120 thousand foreigners arrive, so it is an important social and participation topic, which the country has to tackle", he said.

In regard to the decision to locate the Center in the Metropolitan Region, the academic indicated that the reason is that almost 70 per cent of the foreigners living in Chile are concentrated there.

In this regard, together with stressing that the initiative came from the president, the director of the School of Political Science, Gustavo Rayo, added that the entity was created with the purpose of contributing to the development of public policies in the field of social inclusion of the resident foreign population.

"Our country has a great challenge from the point of view of inclusion in the face of the many foreigners who arrive with the intention of building projects of personal and family life. In spite of this, it is a topic that is not sufficiently developed and the University considered that, through the two Departments present at the Santiago Campus, they could make a contribution in that area that tends to the development of initiatives in line with this challenge," he said.

Survey

In regard to the working mode, Medardo Aguirre explained that although there is information on this phenomenon, it is generally data from secondary sources.

"What we want to study is the perception of the foreign residents, what are their behaviors, habits, how they feel in the country, if they feel integrated or not, and what about discrimination, for example. This type of study has to be done with data from primary source, i.e. surveys, therefore, that is going to be our focus with a periodicity which we hope will be of two to three months," he said.

In this context, as a letter of presentation of the Center, the results of a survey carried out among migrants residing in the communes of Santiago Centro, Recoleta, Estación Central and Independecia - who have the right to vote - who were asked about their intention to participate in the municipal elections and the relationship with their Chileans neighbors, were showed.

Among those surveyed, 60.1%declared that they would not participate in the elections. Among those who expressed their intention to go to the polls (34.2%), the greater interest in participating in the election process was concentrated among the older than 45 years (59.5%).

About the study, Gustavo Rayo drew attention about the fact that it showed that the interest to vote is intimately associated to three factors: the time since arrival in the country, labor stability and age.

"It is an exploratory study, a sample that represents a micro world, but our challenge is to be able to discover different situations in other regions of the country, where the migrant population has also a high incidence," he said.



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