Chile's President Sebastian Piñera Sunday enacted a new immigration law that imposes greater border regulations and streamlines deportations.
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Besides establishing a three-month deadline for illegal migrants to leave the country, the law creates a new system regarding the issuance of visas and tightens the regularization process.
Although Parliament passed the law in Dec. 2020, a coalition of left-wing parties filed an injunction before the Constitutional Court (CC) to repeal several articles.
"This law means the closure of possibilities for migrant workers and goes against the advances of bilateral agreements in the region," Committee of Immigrants in Chile Secretary Rodolfo Noriega said.
The CC objected to six provisions, including the deprivation of liberty for 72 hours to a person who has obtained an expulsion order. The article on the assisted return of children and adolescents was also repealed.
The new law replaces a previous one designed in 1975 during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), which sought to restrict the entry of migrants. It will enter into force once the Interior Ministry publishes its manual.
The Foreigners and Migration Department reported 1.4 million migrants in Chile, equivalent to over 7 percent of the country's population.