• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > Ecuador

Ecuador Reforming Migration Laws to Ensure No One Is 'Illegal'

  • Ecuadorean Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Maria Landazuri said the country will replace its “outdated, xenophobic and discriminatory” migration laws, Oct. 21, 2015.

    Ecuadorean Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Maria Landazuri said the country will replace its “outdated, xenophobic and discriminatory” migration laws, Oct. 21, 2015. | Photo: Andes

Published 21 October 2015

Ecuador's National Assembly is overhauling migration laws to bring them in line with the 2008 constitution, which declares that no one is illegal.

Ecuador is on track to overhaul its laws governing migration and human movement with a new bill designed in adherence with the principle of universal citizenship and the right of all people to migrate as they choose.

"It is a historic moment because the decision of President Correa is to leave behind those laws that are 40-years-old, which are outdated, which are xenophobic and discriminatory," Maria Landazuri, Ecuador's vice minister for foreign affairs, told the Andes news agency Wednesday.

Ecuador has become a major destination for many foreigners, including tourists, retirees and those seeking refugee protection. The new law will include provisions to specifically address the particular needs of refugees and victims of human trafficking.

RELATED: Ecuador Named Leading Travel Hot Spot in ‘Tourism Oscars’

Landazuri says Ecuador's current migration laws were crafted with a different mindset. The new laws, she said, will reflect different priorities, where foreigners are welcomed and celebrated in order to foster peaceful coexistence.

“Only with understanding and the acceptance of a distinct person will peace be maintained and we are very interested in that,” said Landazuri.

According to the vice minister, the largest community of foreigners in Ecuador is made up of Colombians, followed by Peruvians, Spanish, and people from the United States.

The bill is also designed to address the specific needs of Ecuador's emigrant community. The country suffered a massive exodus of citizens in the 1990s and 2000s as a result of a collapse of the country's banking system.

Under the proposed law, Ecuador's consulates and embassies around the world will now be mandated to provide more services and protection to Ecuadoreans living abroad, as well as more assistance to those who wish to return to Ecuador.

The International Relations Commission of the Ecuadorean National Assembly is currently reviewing the bill, which was introduced in July 2015.

RELATED: No One Is Illegal: New Ecuador Bill Affirms Right of Migration

If passed, the bill would bring Ecuador’s migration laws in line with its landmark 2008 constitution, which was implemented by the leftist government of President Rafael Correa after his first election victory.

The Ecuadorean constitution specifies that “no human being shall be identified or considered as illegal because of his/her migratory status.”

María Augusta Calle, chair of the International Relations Commission, said lawmakers were still reviewing important details of the legislation, such as the process for obtaining Ecuadorean citizenship, as well as the potential to recognize same-sex marriages of immigrants.

Post with no comments.