EXPERTS DISCUSSED SITUATION OF FOREIGNERS IN THE COUNTRY
KNOWING THE REASONS FOR THE INCREASE OF MIGRANTS FROM LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN WAS THE OBJECTIVE OF THE "THE NEW CHILEANS" EVENT, WHERE THE PHENOMENON WAS ANALYZED.
September 14, 2017
Reflecting on the new social interactions that are taking place with the arrival of foreigners, both in the country and in the region, was one of the objectives of the "The New Chilean: Reflections on the Migration Process" seminar, which was held at the Enrique Mac Iver Auditorium of the School of Law.
The event, organized by the University Social Responsibility Unit (USR) and the Communications Office, had a multicultural audience that followed attentively the presentations of the experts, led by the academic from the University of Chile, María Emilia Tijoux.
The researcher, a national reference on subjects such as racial discrimination and immigration, was responsible for opening the day with her talk “Contemporary Migration and Racism in Chile”.
Tijoux made a contextualization on contemporary migration in Chile and at the international level. "In Chile there has been migration at different times, in the first place invited by the Chilean State to populate the south and "bleach the race" and then again, starting from 1990, when the country is perceived as an economically rich and politically stable territory," she explained.
The sociologist pointed out that at the present time the migration is perceived by the population only toward a group of people, because the people make a difference between immigrants and foreigners. "The notion of emigration does not contain in the Chilean imaginary all migrants, but only from six countries: Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Haiti," she said.
"Currently, the immigrant is a worker who seeks to work to survive and help his or her family (...) Unfortunately emigration is seen as a problem and not as a social phenomenon that corresponds to movement of people from one country to another for reasons such as natural phenomena, persecutions, wars, poverty and insecurity in the countries of origin," said Tijoux.
With regard to the draft Law on Migration, the researcher criticized that it does not consider the situation of irregular migrants. "It leaves totally unprotected the irregular immigrants, they can be treated in hospitals, their children can go to school, but with the new law this will be impossible." In addition, she referred to the absence of actions towards the Chileans who are living abroad since some time.
"A law on migration should consider immigrants who come from other countries, but also to the possibility that a Chilean who wants to return to live in Chile, can do so smoothly," said Tijoux.
At the same time, he was very concerned by recent cases that have come to public light on labor abuses suffered by migrants in our region. "One of the things of concern is irregular immigrants, because it could be the ideal subject for exploitation and abuse. Because they do not have their regular papers and could be deported, they are payed half of the salary paid to a Chileans".
One of the solutions proposed is to educate entrepreneurs in this new scenario of the labor market. "We need to think about a law that considers human and labor rights, but above all, in businessmen being aware, because immigrants are an important contribution to the economy of the country," she said.
Also spoke Medardo Aguirre, Director of the Center for Migration Studies of our Academic Institution, an entity that analyzes, from a social perspective, the situation of foreigners in Chile and which has presented a series of studies relating to the labor integration and intentionality of voting rights of migrants.
"Our Center conducts studies of quantitative type preferably of perception to perform a profile of Latin American immigrants. To know who they are, how they think, and what are their problems in the country."
In regard to the migration phenomenon, the academic said: "There are two realities, a known one, in terms of regular immigration, and another more complex, like the irregular one. In the first case, it is known to have some problems of discrimination, but in terms of employment are more or less similar to Chileans," he said.
From a local view, researcher from the UTALCA Cristian Monsalvez introduced the subject: "Haitian Integration in the Maule Region: a Challenge for Social and Public Innovation". The study is based on a work done with a group of high school students from the Liceo Valentin Letelier High School, in Linares, through the Academy of Social Sciences from the Explora PAR of Conicyt Maule. "It was a very interesting experience working with the students, because they began to observe the changes that are occurring in their community and how it transforms the social space of their city," said Monsalvez.
For Ivan Coydan, Director of University Social Responsibility, it was the opportunity to reflect on the new multiracial composition that our country is taking. "Addressing issues so urgent, as the phenomenon of migration, is part of the public mission of our Academic Institution," said Coydan.
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