Argentina toughens immigration policy against criminals

The executive order of Mauricio Macri to tighten the conditions to migrate to Argentina and facilitate the expulsions is already law.

Before it was published, it has unleashed a wave of criticism and accusations of xenophobia, in the international context of the advance of the new president of the United States, Donald Trump, with the wall on Mexico.

The controversy reached the point that the Security Minister, Patricia Bullrich, had to deny that the Government is thinking of building a similar wall on the border with Bolivia.

Meanwhile, Vice President Gabriela Michetti said they have “an idea opposite to Trump”. The leader of the Renovador Front, Sergio Massa, supported the initiative: “Foreigners who commit crimes should be expelled”, he said.

The Government advanced with a Decree of Necessity and Urgency, which was published 2 days ago.

To this end, Minister of Justice Germán Garavano had meetings with opposition advisers, such as security specialist Diego Gorgal, and the head of the Justicialista Party in the Senate, Miguel Pichetto, who had already referred to the Immigrants who commit delinquency as the “hangover” of Peru and Bolivia.

The government indicated that it will seek to expedite trials to expel foreigners: they will not require a firm conviction, but a firm prosecution (dictated in second instance) or a sentence in the first instance. It will also be done in a “fast special process”, which would not last more than two months.

It will also tighten background checks and restrict the possibility of entering the country.

The valid antecedent, again, will not be a firm sentence, but a firm prosecution or the closing of the instruction to send to the defendant’s oral trial.

They even indicate that with a mere report that the person is part of a terrorist organization would be enough to deny him the income.

The security minister denied that the government is thinking of implementing actions like Trump’s, like a wall with Bolivia. “No, not at all,” he replied to the question in a report in El Tribununo de Salta.

In the Ministry of Security they warned that this idea was never in analysis and that it was simply the answer to the question of a journalist, who put it as a possibility as an example. “What we are going to do is start with four high-tech points that are La Quiaca, Aguas Blancas, Salvador Mazza and Puerto Iguazú, and we are going to make a control of the border”, Bullrich said.

“Our problem with the border is not people. We do not have a problem with immigration, we have a problem with drug trafficking and smuggling”, said the minister. “The way to quickly expel foreigners entering and delinquent in matters of narco-crime is the same as fastening prisoners to the Argentines who do”, he said.

For his part, Michetti also tried to defend the official initiative and differentiate it from the wall of Trump. He argued that “the position of the Government is contrary to the sayings of the last days of Trump on immigration in the United States and the wall”.

The Cambiemos government sought to move forward with a free trade agreement with the United States, something that Trump’s stance seems to complicate.

“We have to distinguish well the laws that have to do with security, and another with which Argentina is an open country, which will always be in favor of diversity”, said the vice president.

In favor of the immigrants, Michetti indicated that Argentina will need the labor “when the process of growth and sustained development begins.” He did not venture when that would happen.

Massa, for his part, recalled that in 2013 he proposed to tighten migration in his reform of the Penal Code. “In Argentina, criminals must be barred from entering, and foreigners who commit crimes must be expelled. The Pact of San José of Costa Rica foresees it “, he assured.

Meanwhile, former governor of Buenos Aires Felipe Solá warned that “xenophobia must be separated from border control. The issue of immigrants is important for Argentines, it should not be dismissed as xenophobic. ” However, he questioned the path chosen by the Macri government: “The first mistake is that it is a Decree of Need and Urgency because they do not want debate in parliament. They could get by a decree of extraordinary calling that in four days or a week the law is ready if it has a majority. “

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