Argentina
As a country of destination

Argentina is characterized as a country of immigration (Migration Policy Institute, 2006). Hence, this mapping exercise gathers information regarding the country as one of destination. It firstly compiles general migration data and relevant legislation that would allow building a general and summarized overview in this matter, in the form of a country profile. Then, it illustrates the main State actors related to economic migration and highlights relevant programs implemented by Argentina during the last 15 years (2004 - 2019).
 
Analysis of data also implies a classification of information on national and subnational levels as Argentina is a Federal country, with a focus on the three provinces with the highest number of migrants.  Finally, it shows which are the Non-State actors working in the field of economic migration along with relevant programs implemented by them. This first attempt of gathering the basic information related to economic migration looking at Argentina as a country of destination aims to identify [in a preliminary stage] the main challenges that this country faces towards this phenomenon


National Population In The Country

44, 271, 041 in 2017
 

Number of international migrantes and percentage of total population

2, 165, 000 in 2017
 
0.1 migrants/1,000 population (estimations for 2015-2020)

Legends
Emigrant

Leaving an origin country.
 

Immigrant

Entering a destination country

International migrant

According to the United Nations Population Division, an international migrant is someone who has been living for one year or longer in a country other than the one in which he or she was born.
 

Title:

Provinces with the largest number of immigrants (city + total population + population born in another country + percentage of approved “radicaciones”)

Result:

Buenos Aires:

  • Total Population: 15,625,084
  • Population born in another country: 941,941
  • 82,7% of solved ‘radicaciones’ in 2017

Córdoba

  • Total Population: 3,308,876
  • Population Born in another country: 83,688 (info. obtained from a provincial Censo of 2008)
  • 2,6% of solved ‘radicaciones’ in 2017

 Santa Fe

  • Total Population: 3,194,537
  • Population Born in another country: 37.432 (Censo, 2010)
  • 2% of solved ‘radicaciones’ in 2017.

Note:
After the 2001 Census, Argentina carried out a complementary international migration survey (in spanish: “Encuesta Complementaria de Migraciones Internacionales 2002 – 2003 [ECMI]). This survey aims to complement the information regarding migration, by acknowledging the characteristics of the population movements, scarcely studied at the statistic level. This information is not added in this mapping as it is not current data, nevertheless it can be considered as a “good practice” regarding migration labour data collection.

Source:
 

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Title:

Main nationalities and migration drivers

Result:

Border countries to Argentina are the most common option of immigration, representing 1,245,054 individuals, mainly from:

  • Paraguay (550,713 individuals)
  • Bolivia (345,272 individuals)
  • Chile (191,592 individuals)

 
Other regions with a lesser flux of immigration to Argentina are:
 
Europe (299,394 individuals) mainly from Italy (147,499 individuals).

  • Asia (31,001 individuals)
  • Africa (2,728 individuals)
  • Oceania (1,425 individuals)

Source:

_________________________________________

Title:

Legislation

Result:

Ley de Migraciones Nº 25.871. Decreto 616/2010. It recognises in Article 4 the human right to migrate . It was modified by Decreto 70/2017 during the current government of President Mauricio Macri. This modification is commented by both, public opinion and scholars. The latter criticises it for challenging the Human Right to migrate. Furthermore, a public audience regarding this issue was carried out on behalf of the IACHR, called “Argentina: Cambios normativa migratoria”.
 
The legal framework regulates the following topics: Migratory categories, migration control, Human Rights, Migration Institutions, Nationality and Citizenship, regime of argentinians living abroad, permanence regime, entrance regime, regularization process, repatriation, migrants return, health, education, work, human trafficking, human smuggling, other crimes related to migration.
 

Source:

_________________________________________

Title:

Main current challenges related to labour migration as destination country

Result:

  1. The last Census carried out in Argentina is from 2010, thus, there is no recent data obtained by the country. The International Organization of Labour issued a report on Labour South American Immigration to Argentina in 2011.
  2. Grassroots organisations working with migrants in Argentina agree that the modifications adopted by the current President Macri are regressive measures towards the protection of the rights of migrants. They recently informed this situation to the IACHR.
  3. Treatment to afrodescendant labour migrants was considered discriminatory and racist by the UN Working Group of experts on afrodescendants

Source:

 

Level:

National level
State agencies related to migration issues
 
“Those parts of the national-level legislature and executive that set immigration policy and law” + “State agencies charged with immigration policy and law implementation”

Result:

Dirección Nacional de Migraciones (DNM)- Ministerio del Interior, Obras Públicas y Vivienda. In charge of the implementation of the migration legal framework and the policy-making in this matter. It is administrative dependant of the Ministerio del Interior, Obras Públicas y Vivienda (DNM, 2019).

  1. Instituto Nacional contra la Discriminación, Xenofobia y el Racismo (INADI)- Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos.
  2. It was created by the Law N° 24.515/95 with the aim of policy-making and designing strategies to eradicate discrimination, xenophobia and racism (IOM, 2019)
  3. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INDEC)- Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas Públicas.
  4. This institute is in charge of creating and keeping information up-to-date on migration, national census and demographic complementary information (INDEC, 2019).
  5.  Secretaría de Derechos Humanos- Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos.
  6. It supports migrants in on-going legal processes regarding the regularization of their legal statuses in Argentina (IOM, 2019).
  7. Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto. This institution is in charge of issuing visas for migrants. Also, they issue and renew Argentinian passports (IOM, 2019).
  8. CONARE. National Commission for Refugees. It was created by Law 26.165 and it is dependant of the Ministerio del Interior. It is aimed at protecting human rights of refugees, as well as convening other national and subnational institutions to coordinate specific actions in order to protect refugee’s rights and their families (CONARE, 2019).

Relevant programmes:
 

  • Between 2006 - 2010, Argentina implemented through the Decreto 836/04 the ‘Programa Nacional de Normalización Documentaria’, also called ‘Patria Grande’. It was aimed at regularising the migratory status of migrants in irregular situation. It is applicable to countries that belong to MERCOSUR and the observant States that were living in the country before the 17th of April, 2006. As a result, 423.697 persons registered in the program, from which 98.539 persons received a ‘radicación permanente’ and 126.385 persons received a ‘radicación temporaria’ (Ministerio del Interior, 2010).
  • Since 2014, the DNM implements the “Programa Especial de Visado Humanitario”, for foreigners affected by the conflict on Siria, known as “Programa Siria” (DNM, 2014a).
  • In 2014, a ‘Mesa de Diálogo Migratorio’ was created, which was democratic, transparent and inclusive participatory, mechanism of dialogue with grassroots organisations related to the discussions around migration public policy, in the context of the Migration Law 25.871, its regulation and the human rights international treaties (DNM, 2014b). This instance stopped working after Macri’s election (University of Oxford, 2017).
  • As a consequence of the creation of Law N° 25.871, civil society was entitled to participate in discussions related to policy-making on migration matters. This provided a transparent and democratic platform that includes civil society when designing migration policies (DNM, 2014b).
  • INADI is comprised of a complaint reception centre to report any case of discrimination, xenophobia or racism. Also, they promote cultural and academic sessions open to all to raise awareness on issues related to discrimination within the society (INADI, 2019).

_________________________________________

Level:

Subnational level
Related to the cities with larger migrants population
“Subnational governments of provinces, states, cantons, municipalities and others, all of which may hold some formal or informal jurisdiction relevant to immigration”.

Result:

♦ City 1: Buenos Aires 

  • Defensoría del Pueblo de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
  • Subdirección de migrantes de la Defensoría del Pueblo de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
  • Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de la ciudad de Buenos Aires

♦ City 2: Córdoba

♦ City 3: Santa fe 

Note
Other important cities that have taken actions against immigrants according to the Law 70/2017 proposed by President Macri are: Jujuy, with strong Bolivian immigrants’ representation, Chubut, with strong Bolivian and Chilean immigrants’ representation.
 *Cities were selected according the distribution of immigrant population in Argentina according to settlement patterns. 

Relevant programmes:
 

  • The government of Jujuy implemented the Law 6.116 which imposes a fee in concept of consumption of public services for non-resident migrants, i.e. migrants in transit, under that jurisdiction (El Pais, 2019, CELS 2019).
  • The government of Chubut issued a regulation to expel all migrants with penal record (El Pais, 2019).
  • According to INADI and IPPDH (2014), in Buenos Aires even though public institutions such as INADI exist, immigrants do not trust in the system or do not know how to make complaints regarding discrimination or reaching out for legal advice. Buenos Aires is the city with the biggest immigrant population in Argentina.
  • Numerous women immigrants usually work in the domestic sector in Buenos Aires. This sector is characterised by the violation of labour rights. In 2013, it was created the Law N° 26.844 on the Special Regime for Domestic Labour (More information at: http://bit.ly/2fdNehV y http://bit.ly/2fdOyBi)
  • Requirements regarding access to household are high for immigrants in Buenos Aires. For instance, it is required a fiduciary guarantee, deposit for several months in advance, among others (INADI and IPPDH, 2014).
  • Under the same topic, requirements imposed to immigrants in order to access to credits to secure a household are high. INADI and IPPDH (2014) highlight that immigrants need considerable initial capital in order to apply to credits. 
  • In terms of access to health, INADI and IPPDH (2014) report that even though Law N° 25.871 states that everyone has access to health and social assistance regardless their legal status, in reality many immigrants have had difficulties to access to public health due their irregular migration status in Buenos Aires. Hospital personnel have refused to accept immigrants in an irregular condition.
  • In Buenos Aires, Law N° 25.871 establishes that the Ministry of Health is responsible to create regulation to ensure free access to health to immigrants even for those who are in an irregular situation. However, this Law is not clear if the State should cover expenses for immigrants.
  • In Buenos Aires, in terms of access to education, Law N°25.871 regulates that by any means, an irregular migrant cannot be accepted in school because of their condition. However, in reality, interviewed children and family members have expressed how the relationships between immigrant children, teachers and schoolmates are strained (INADI and IPPDH, 2014).
  •  In Buenos Aires, in terms of access to social security programmes, immigrants have expressed numerous problems regarding the requirements imposed by the local governments. For instance, programmes related to food support implemented by the local government, require a valid ID or resident permit. This requirement excludes migrants in an irregular position to even apply for this programmes

 

Institution:
CAREF

Result: 
(General information + indicate if they work at a local or national level).

CAREF is the Argentine Commission for Refugees and Migrants that is comprised of five churches: Evangelical Disciples of Christ, Evangelical of the Río de la Plata, Evangelical Methodist Argentina, Evangelical Valdense of the Río de la Plata and Evangelical United Lutheran Church. Its scope is at the national level.
 
They promote human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum  seekers through the construction of practices and standards that favor their integration in the conditions of justice and equality.

They provide professional services of advice, guidance, social and legal assistance; training workshops on topics related to the exercise of relevant social rights. They promote actions to shape public policies to effectively guarantee human rights for migrants.

Relevant Programmes

  • Co-organisers of “Migrantazo” social campaign against the Law 70/2017 adopted by President Macri. 
  • Carried out investigations in relation to the effectiveness of “Programa Siria” that promotes humanitarian entry/visa to refugees coming from Syria as a consequence of the protracted humanitarian crisis in the country (CAREF, 2019).

_________________________________________

Institution:

CELS

Result: 
(General information + indicate if they work at a local or national level).

CELS is the Centre for Latin American and Social Studies. This human rights organisation promotes social justice, inclusiveness and the protection of human rights at the national and international arenas.

CELS areas of work cover participation in international debates on human rights from a Latin American perspective; raising awareness of crimes against humanity committed in the past; protection of migrants rights; among others. For this endeavour, CELS not only produces important reports, but also provide legal aid at the national and international levels.

Relevant Programmes

  • Denounced formally before the IACHR the irregularities of the Law 70/2017 in terms of violations of human rights (El Pais, 2019).
  • Denounced publicly the Law 6.116 which creates a Health Public System specialised to immigrants. (CELS, 29019).
  • This system imposes a fee for those who are in an irregular migration, hence, limits the access to health to everyone (CELS, 2019).
  • Convened 40+ organisations to commemorate the Migration Law implemented in Argentina 15 years ago. This event was aimed at discussing challenges and opportunities to improve migration rights. Also, it served as a platform not only to capacity building, but also to create a network among different institutions (public, academic and private sectors) around migration. (CELS, 2019).
  •  Publicly denounced abuse of power from police and public institutions in Buenos Aires against hawkers coming from Senegal. (CELS, 2019).

As part of the constraints caused by the implementation of the Law 70/2017 proposed by President Mecri, an important number of NGOs, churches, study centres, Universities and legal clinics have worked actively in the formal and public denounce of diverse human rights violations of migrants, especially those who are in an irregular condition. The following list covers, but it is not limited, some of the civil society groups that have been involved in this movement:
 

  • Abogados y abogadas del Noroeste argentino en derechos humanos y estudios sociales (ANDHES)
  • Asociación Civil CineMigrante
  • Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL)
  • Colectivo para La Diversidad (COPADI)
  • Instituto Argentino para la Igualdad, Diversidad e Integración (IARPIDI)
  • Migrantes x Migrantes
  • Observatorio de Adolescentes y Jóvenes del Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani
  • Red Nacional de Líderes Migrantes en Argentina y la Universidad Nacional de Lanús (UNLa).
  1. CAREF (2019). Comisión Argentina para Migrantes y Refugiados. Available at: https://www.caref.org.ar
  2. CONARE (2019). Comisión Nacional para los Refugiados. Available at: http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/conare/?institucional (Consulted 16/05/19).
  3. CELS (2019). Centre for Latin American and Social Studies. Available at: https://www.cels.org.ar/web/category/migrantes/
  4. DNM (2019). Acerca de la DNM. Available at: http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/accesible/indexA.php?institucionalindex (Consulted 16/05/19)
  5. DNM (2014a). Programa Siria. Available at: http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/programasiria/  (Consulted 16/05/19)
  6. DNM (2014b). Disposición 3028/2014. Creación Mesa de Diálogo Migratorio. Available at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/230000-234999/234151/norma.htm (Consulted 16/04/19).
  7. El Pais (2019). Catorce instituciones alertan a la CIDH del retroceso en política migratoria de Argentina. Available at: https://www.elpais.cr/2019/02/11/catorce-instituciones-alertan-a-la-cidh-del-retroceso-en-politica-migratoria-de-argentina/ (Consulted 16/05/19).
  8. IOM (2019). Organismos gubernamentales nacionales en Argentina. Available at: http://argentina.iom.int/co/organismos-gubernamentales-nacionales-en-argentina (Consulted 15/05/19).
  9. IOM (2012). Migration profile in Argentina, 2012.
  10. INADI (2019). Instituto Nacional contra la Discriminación y Xenofobia. Available at: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/inadi (Consulted 15/05/19).
  11. INADI and IPPDH (2014). Situation of regional immigrants in the city of Buenos Aires. Available at:
  12. www.ippdh.mercosur.int/wp-content/uploads/2017/.../InformeMigrantesBA-webr.pdf  (Consulted 16/05/19)
  13. INDEC (2019). Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos. Available at: https://www.indec.gov.ar/ (Consulted 15/05/19).
  14. Migration Policy Institute (2006). Argentina: A New Era of Migration and Migration Policy. Available at: https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/argentina-new-era-migration-and-migration-policy (Consulted 15/05/19).
  15. Ministerio del Interior (2010). Patria Grande. Programa Nacional de Normalización Documentaria Migratoria. Informe Estadístico. Available at:
  16. www.migraciones.gov.ar/pdf_varios/estadisticas/Patria_Grande.pdf  (Consulted 15/05/19).
  17. University of Oxford (2017). Argentina’s Migration Law: Changes Challenging the Human Right to Migrate. Available at: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2017/09/argentinas (Consulted 16/05/19).