HALF OF MIGRANTS FEEL UNEQUAL BEFORE THE LAW
THE CONCLUSION COMES OUT OF SURVEY CARRIED OUT BY THE UTALCA ABOUT FOREIGN RESIDENTS BEFORE THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.
June 30, 2017
A survey conducted by the National Center for Migration Studies of our Corporation revealed that in the field of constitutional rights for foreign residents, "Equality before the Law" is perceived in a 49% as “less favorable" comparing to Chileans.
In announcing the results of the survey carried out in the counties of Santiago Center, Estacion Central, Independencia and Recoleta, the director of the center, Medardo Aguirre, noted that the 46.1% of the respondents expressed the same unfavorable perception with regard to health protection, while 44.1% agreed with that view in terms of the right to unionize.
He added that the same negative appreciation was detected in 42% about the right to social security. For 40.2% it is not auspicious, either, the fulfillment of the guarantee of freedom of work and to its protection, while 39.2% had the same impression regarding the right of education.
"On the constitutional rights considered in the study, between 40% and 50% considered that the situation for foreign residents is less favorable than for Chileans, highlighting 'Equality before the Law' as the less equalitarian", summarized the director of the center.
He added that, while there are nuances, those who claim to feel affected by this inequity are the people with income levels lower than 600 thousand pesos (US$900, approx.), and length of residence in the country of less than three years.
However, Aguirre noted that, among the groups surveyed, Peruvian migrants are those who, at 70%, feel on equal terms compared to the national population.
"Probably, that has to do with the fact that it is the oldest and largest migration in Chile, it is then more consolidated so that, when people from that country come, they find better contact networks. I believe that under the Chilean’s perspective, Peruvian migration is much more natural, while the new migration is still seen as a strange phenomenon," he said.
In this context, the director of the National Center for Migration Studies pointed out that "the irregular permanence in the country situation, which, to a certain extent, is associated with the time and complexity of the bureaucratic process of regularization the permanence, it is a problem that must be watched with special emphasis, since during this period, these people have difficulty in exercising their rights as citizens."
"There are positions that argue that, in a modern legislation concerning the immigration problem, human rights should prevail over the constitutional rights, taking into consideration that the Immigrants in an irregular situation are persons," he said.
To the presentation of the study attended the representatives of the “Sol” Migrant Help Office, Patricia Hidalgo and David Flores, who praised the report.
"I find it very interesting, because in the end you are saying 'there is this situation here that is occurring in the country, let’s not play fool. People are not coming here as tourists or students, a high percentage of those who arrive come to work, to stay, so What law do we have to be able to take care of the rights of those people?", asked Flores.
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