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The present work is an investigation about immigration policies and on how the South American regional integration has been a place for a regional migration policy, especially within MERCOSUR and its …

The present work is an investigation about immigration policies and on how the South American regional integration has been a place for a regional migration policy, especially within MERCOSUR and its associated states. This article is divided into two parts, the first one is theoretical and it aims to define what a regional migration policy is and who immigrants are. In the second part, all regional agreements on immigration will be analyzed and compared with regional migration figures in order to identify whether they are able to facilitate migration between the member states of MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) and its associate states (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru), or to improve the flow of people across borders. Finally, regional advances as well as continuing difficulties will be pointed out with regard to regional integration.

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  • 1. IS THERE A MIGRATION POLICY FOR REGIONAL INTEGRATIONIN SOUTH AMERICA? EMERGING EVIDENCE FROM MERCOSUR. By: ANDRÉ LUIZ SICILIANO Word Count: 7 429 Submission for Oxford Migration Studies Society Migration: Theory and Practice 2013 Conference
  • 2. AbstractThe present work is an investigation about immigration policies and on how the South Americanregional integration has been a place for a regional migration policy, especially within MERCOSURand its associated states. This article is divided into two parts, the first one is theoretical and it aimsto define what a regional migration policy is and who immigrants are. In the second part, all regionalagreements on immigration will be analyzed and compared with regional migration figures in orderto identify whether they are able to facilitate migration between the member states of MERCOSUR(Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) and its associate states (Bolivia, Chile,Colombia, Ecuador and Peru), or to improve the flow of people across borders. Finally, regionaladvances as well as continuing difficulties will be pointed out with regard to regional integration.Key-words: Migration policy, MERCOSUR, regional integration, immigration.About the author:André Luiz Siciliano is a lawyer who graduated from the Catholic University of São Paulo (Brazil) in2003 and is currently a graduate student at the Institute of International Relations of the Universityof São Paulo (USP-Brazil); his research is about the Brazilian Immigration Policy. In 2006, he livedin Vancouver, Canada, where he began his studies in the field of international law. He currentlyconducts research in the fields of human rights and immigration and his latest publication was “TheRole of the Universalization of Human Rights and Migration in the Formation of a New GlobalGovernance”, SUR – International Journal on Human Rights, vol.9, n.16., Jun/2012.
  • 3. Introduction This paper seeks to identify recent regional advances in facilitating migration between theMERCOSUR member states (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) and its associatemember states (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) as well as shedding light on thechallenges still to be confronted for there to be a more profound regional integration. For thisreason, it will first be clarified what a migration policy consists of, who an immigrant is and whichare the possible perspectives to be adopted while dealing with the question of regional migration. As a next step, the regional treaties which were celebrated with the aim of facilitating themovement of people within the bloc and the associate states will be mapped out because they arethe normative instruments which shape the policies in use in the regional sphere. However, theresearch will focus on isolated actions of countries within the region that are contributing toimprove the conditions of migration within the bloc. Finally, an attempt will be made to identify the challenges to be met, be it by the individualstates or by the group of countries which compose the regional bloc in question, in the sense ofenhancing migration conditions between the states and of enabling a qualitative leap forwards withregard to regional integration.What is a migration policy? A migration policy is usually understood as a series of actions of the government to regulatethe entrance into, staying in and departure of foreigners from one given national territory as well asthe measures aimed at maintaining the ties between that state and its nationals residing abroad.International migration is a complex social phenomenon due to the fact that it not only consists ofthe movement from one place to another but also from one jurisdiction to another (ZOLBERG,2006). Thus, a migration policy should be understood as a measure of the state to regulate its linkwith the foreigners that are located within its territory as well as with its national citizens that areunder the jurisdiction of another state. It is worth citing the definition constructed by Zolberg: “International migration is an inherently political process since the relevant policies include not only the regulation of movement across state borders but also the rules it entails about the acquisition, maintenance, loss or voluntary renunciation of citizinship in all its aspects – political, social, economic and cultural.” (ZOLBERG, 2006, p. 11).
  • 4. It can be stated, therefore, that a migration policy is also a legal phenomenon since itdetermines the conditions of bestowing citizenship on foreigners in its territory as well as theconditions of the exercise of its nationals´ citizenship when under the jurisdiction of other states.Zolberg (2006) goes on to clarify that migration policies are extremely interactive given the limits ofthe international system of states: any kind of emigration implies immediate immigration intoanother place; on the other hand, the possibility of immigrating affects the decisions to emigrate;and the closing or opening of a specific national entry affects the potential fluxes in other states. In that sense, international treaties celebrated in the regional sphere are a manifestexpression of the will of states to establish specific legal norms that aim to improve the qualityand/or quantity of migration fluxes in a given area affected by that treaty. Evidently, such treatieswill only be in force after the internalization of its dispositions by each state which want to be partof it. Thus, the analysis of international migration in the regional sphere should take place at boththe domestic and the international level 1. Another element to be highlighted is that the issue of migration has so far been examinedmostly from the perspective of the nation state. This approach owes much to political realism andits view of the international system, in which the individual migrant, as a human being, is notperceived as an agent or subject of rights but rather as a term in the equation of migratory fluxeswhich generate effects for the respective states. One can observe that even among key authors fromthe South this framework is not given up. In a book published in 2012, by the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN),entitled “Public policies with regard to migration and civil society in Latin America – the cases of Argentina,Brazil, Colombia and Mexico”, authors such as Leonir Mario Chiarello, Lelio Mármora, Neide LopesPatarra, Roberto Vidal and Cecilia Imaz Bayona analyze the migrations policies of Argentina, Brazil,Colombia and Mexico from the perspective of migration policy as a public policy on migration. Thus, migration policy is understood as the measures taken by the state, by its agents or by agroup of states with the intention of regulate the relations of the state with humans who are locatedwithin its territory but are not national citizens as well as with its national citizens who are notwithin its territory. Moreover, given the regional context, it is necessary to point out that themigration policy will be determined by the groups of measures and, especially, by the normativedocuments produced and accepted by the states in question.1 Concerning two-level analysis, see (PUTNAM, 1988).
  • 5. Who is an immigrant? For Guido Soares (2004) and André Carvalho Ramos (2008) foreigners are individuals who,despite being residents in a particular state, do not possess the nationality of that state. This is thusthe case of a negative point of reference: the status of an individual who does not have the samerights or obligations as other individuals, who are considered nationals by the legal order. In thisway, the starting point of this study is the nationality of persons and the rights and obligations whichare attributed to nationals and which, in principle, are not recognized for foreigners. The characterization of the concept of nationality for Guido Soares is a configuration on thepart of a local authority of a politically autonomous unit which becomes an indivisible unit thatcomposes international relations. The foreigner would thus be an individual outside of the socialgroup and, thus, the victim of major hostilities. For Carvalho Ramos, the foreigner can be seen fromdifferent normative realities: i) the immigrant, i.e. the foreigner who migrates to another state withthe intention of staying there legally or illegally; ii) the transitional foreigner, who moves to anotherstate temporarily; iii) the foreigner in special conditions, who possesses the same right as thenational citizens due to bilateral, multilateral or regional agreements; and iv) the refugees. The category of interest for this study is the one of the immigrant, referring to the foreignerswho would have rights guaranteed if they were under the jurisdiction of their own state but whoreside in the territory of another state which does not recognize them as nationals. Thus, as will beshown below, within a regional bloc that constantly seeks to enhance its integration, the challengeconsists in enabling the immigrants to have their right recognized as if they were national citizenswhile at the same time admitting for certain punctual restrictions.Visions on Migration Policy The literature on international migration is characterized by a divide with regard to theperspective adopted by the observer, which can be either based on the countries from which themigratory fluxes originate or the countries which are the goal of these fluxes. The latter perspective,referring to the destiny countries of migration, is the one found in greater numbers given the factthat, as mentioned above, the decision of close or open borders to immigration generates impact inthe potential migratory fluxes and produces effects in other states. This is what makes it morerelevant to international relations. Furthermore, the countries which receive migrants are in most cases developed countries,which is also where most research is produced. These studies examine, for example, the causes ofnational rejection of the immigrant (MEYERS, 2004), the most efficient ways of selecting
  • 6. immigration or the advantages and disadvantages of receiving immigrants (BOERI, et al., 2002;ZOLBERG, 1994; 2006). On the other hand, the research produced in the countries of origin tends to investigate theimpact of emigration on them, especially with regard to the remittances and to the relationshipwhich is kept with the emigrants (HUJO & PIPER, 2010), however the results of these actions havea very limited impact on other countries. Katja Hujo and Nicola Piper (2010) highlight that developing countries are usually notstudied as being countries that receive migrants but rather as mere exporters/emitters. They go onto point out that there are moments and place where the borders between domestic andinternational migration become fizzy and, in general, a change has been observed in the sense of theliberalization of intra-regional movements within the context of regional economic integrationbetween developing countries.Regional Integration and Migration Policies According to Eytan Meyers (2004), regional integration of whatever type tends toinfluence the policies of immigration control of the member states in the sense: i) of facilitating themovement of people between the national territories of the member states; and ii) when thisfacilitation of circulation of people occurs between the member states, of seeking to develop a“common foreign policy of migration” which will probably be more restrictive towards immigrationthan it had been before the formation of the regional bloc (MEYERS, 2004, p. 217). This can clearly be verified in the case of the European Union, which featured theunification of a consolidated migration policy through the creation of the Schengen area. The SouthAmerican experience, however, has not yet confirmed Meyer´s theory because despite certainadvances with regard to free movement of people within the bloc no ostensible measures have beentaken in the sense of closing the bloc off towards external immigration. Inspired by the existence of the progressive unification of Europe, the Common SouthernMarket (MERCOSUR) has aimed at integrating its member states in a way which granted them aninitially trade-related but increasingly political sphere with the aim of an improved economicposition in the international arena. The emergence of the Common Market presupposes theexistence of 4 liberties: i) liberty of free circulation of people; ii) liberty of capital flows; iii) liberty ofcirculation of goods; and iv) the liberty of circulation of services. However, even the Treaty ofAsunción in its first article limits itself to seek “the free circulation of goods, services and productivefactors between the countries”, omitting the free movement of people intentionally.
  • 7. In 1996, through several agreements of economic cooperation, Bolivia and Chile becameassociated with the bloc, acquired observer status and began to accompany some ministerialmeetings of the bloc. Subsequently, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru also became associated withMERCOSUR and, on 13th August 2012 Venezuela officially entered the bloc despite Paraguayanresistance. Despite the fact that trade questions dominate the agenda of the bloc, some important stepshave been taken with the aim of improving the flux of people across the internal borders of thebloc. In December 1997, the “Multilateral Agreement of Social Security of the Common Market ofthe South” was signed in Montevideo (promulgated in Brazil through the decree 5.722/2006). Bymeans of this agreement, the time of contribution to social welfare in one state will be recognized bythe other before which the request for retirement will be made. Furthermore, immigrant workersand their families are guaranteed the same right and obligations attributed to national citizens of thestate in which they reside. In December 2002 the “Agreement on Residence for Nationals of MERCOSUR memberstates, Bolivia and Chile” (promulgated in Brazil by the decree 6.975/2009) was signed. Throughthis agreement, the citizens of each of the signatory countries who seek to establish residence inanother of these states will be able do so in a facilitated way with a possible temporary residencepermit of up to two years. This authorization will be convertible into permanent residence under thecondition that the visa conversion be requested up to 90 days before the temporary visa runs out. It is important to underline that nationals from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay orUruguay who reside in the territory of one of the other countries and who which to settle there, canpresent their request of regularization to the local immigration services as well as asking forauthorization for temporary residence which can be converted into permanent residence at the endof two years independent of the migratory conditions under which they have entered the country. Inthat way, any citizen who currently finds himself in an irregular migratory situation can request hisregularization without needing to leave the country and without a fine i. In 2008, the “Agreement on Travel Documents of the Member States and MERCOSURand Associate States” was signed, which recognizes the personal identification documents ofcitizens of each state as valid. Like this, national identities suffice as travel documents accepted formovement across borders and for identification of residents in another member or associate state. With regard to the measures that aim to protect education, several agreements have beensigned ii: the “Protocol on Educational Integration and the Recognition of Certificates, Titles andStudies of Primary and Secondary Level of non-technical nature” 2; the “Protocol on Educational2 Decision of the Common Market Council (CMC) nº04/1994.
  • 8. Integration and the Revalidation of Diplomas, Certificates, Titles and Recognition of IntermediateLevel of technical nature” 3; the “Protocol on Educational Integration for the Continuation ofPostgraduate Studies at Universities of MERCOSUR member states” 4; and the “Agreement on theAdmission of Titles and University Degrees for Academic Work in MERCOSUR Member States” 5.All these agreement in the area of education aim to permit the recognition of studies carried out inon member states by another member states, allowing for the continuation of studies without delayor major disadvantages. In continuation of the integration measure, the “Agreement on the Exemption ofTranslation of Administrative Documents for Immigration between the MERCOSUR memberstates” was reached in 2000, which reduced the costs and bureaucracy of migration between thecountries of the bloc. Despite still not being able to precisely measure the impact of all these effortslisted above on the flux of people between the countries, it is important to recognize the politicalendeavor to produce normative texts with the goal of facilitating migration of citizens within thebloc. What, however, would be the impact of these treaties on the intraregional migratory flows?Would it be possible to identify direct effects on the quantity of international migrants in the region?While trying to answer questions such as these, it is important to consider that each countryinternalized these treaties at different times, which is why it is not an easy task to establish a directcausal relation between the treaties and the migratory fluxes. Moreover, in order to determine in aconsistent way the effects of the immigration laws on certain migratory fluxes it would be necessaryto examine the circumstances both of the emitting as well as receiving countries because bothinfluence the observed migratory fluxes. Additionally, one would need to differentiate between thenature of the people flows (whether for studies, work, with the intention of permanently settlingthere etc.), but currently realized surveys do not permit such identification6. It is worth pointing outthat currently not even visa systems have a uniform categorization. Either way, it is important to at least estimate the number of people affected and thepotential of the region in relation to international migration within the regional bloc and for thispurpose the existing data bases suffice. In this manner, with the help of quantitative analysis, it willbe possible to establish some comparative references and, above all, to observe the degree ofevolution of regional integration with regard to international immigration.3 CMC Decision nº07/1995.4 CMC Decision nº08/1996.5 CMC Decision nº09/1999.6 The available data from the consulates are produced through a periodic census or collected by the respectiveMinistries of the Interior, whose categories are limited to temporary and permanent immigrants, refugees/asylumseekers, family reunions and whether they are men or women.
  • 9. Migratory Fluxes iii According to studies carried out by Adella Pelegrino (2009), the regional migratorymovements over several decades indicate a slow growth and a steady demographic impact. Pelegrinogoes on to show that the existence of MERCOSUR did not have a significant impact on migratoryfluxes, be it regarding direction or volume, and the state of these fluxes seems to be more related toasymmetric processes of economic development as well as with the economic and politicalvicissitudes of each country (PELEGRINO, 2009). Consequently, regional international migrationconsists predominantly of low skilled workers. The first important factor worth pointing out is that international immigration is extremelylow in all countries of the region. Figure 1, which compares the immigration in MERCOSURcountries and its associated states with Costa Rica, Canada and the US, clearly demonstrates that thequantity of immigrants present in South American countries is far from reaching critical levels. Thedata presented in the following consider only the volume of immigration (with the purpose ofresidence, be it temporary or permanent).Figure 1 Percentage of Immigrants in the Overall Population Including the US, Canada and Costa Rica 21 Percenage of Population (%) 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru Uruguay Venezuela Canada USA Costa RicaSource: Second Report of the System of Continuous Reports on International Migration in the Americas (SICREMI).OEA, 2012.
  • 10. It is worth highlighting that, between 2001 and 2010, the countries of MERCOSUR and theassociated states did not manage to raise the percentage of immigration to above 1% of theirrespective population despite efforts to facilitate the circulation of people in the bloc. However,during the same period, the US and Canada feature a growth of approximately two percentagepoints each, moving from 11% to 12.9% and 17.6% to 19.9% respectively. Analyzing more closely just the South American situation, one can note that the number ofimmigrants in percent of the overall population has remained quite stable in all countries of theregion during the last decade.Figure 2 Percentage of Immigrants in the Overall Population 5 Percentage of Population (%) 4 3 2 1 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru Uruguay VenezuelaSource: Second Report of the System of Continuous Reports on International Migration in the Americas (SICREMI).OAS, 2012. On top of the fact that the number of immigrants in Latin American societies is significantlysmall in relation to the overall population of each country, the rise of this percentage has beenmodest, even after the adoption of the mentioned measures of integration. In Brazil, for example,even with increasing immigration in recent years, the percentage of immigration in the overallBrazilian population remains at less than one percent 7. Argentina, as will be shown below, is one ofthe region´s countries with the most advanced immigration laws and which has shown the mostsignificant increase in numbers of legal immigrants (see figure 3); even so, it presents a low7 However, there has been an expressive increase in the percentage of immigrants from MERCOSUR and associatestates, from about 16% in 2006 to almost 22% in 2012 (see Annex IV).
  • 11. immigration percentage of nearly 4.5% of the overall population. This reinforces Adella Pelegrino´sthesis that the impact of international migration in the region has been little and steady, and that thecreation of MERCOSUR has hardly influenced the increase in immigration. This is the regional reality: all countries present a low percentage of immigrants of in thecomposition of their societies, which leads one to believe that immigration still has a great potentialto be explored in contemporary South America. In the US, as seen above (figure 1), the immigrantsmake up almost 13% of the population and total almost 40 000 000 people. In Canada, the numberof immigrants corresponds to about 20% of the population, adding up to about 6 800 000 peopleand even in Costa Rica, which is a less attractive country for economic immigrants than the twocited ones from North America, the immigrants account for 8% of the population, which is nearlydouble the percentage of Argentina. Argentina is the country which receives the greatest number of Latin American migrants,with 1 805 957 iv8. It is worth underlining, however, that in 1960 when the total population ofArgentina was half its current size, there were 2 540 226 immigrants in the country. Figure 3 belowillustrates the absolute numbers of immigrants of MERCOSUR countries and associate states forthe last decades and shows that five countries feature a growth of the immigrant population sincethe year 2000 (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador (more obviously) and Colombia (more modestly).8 National Census of Argentina, 2010.
  • 12. Figure 3 Immigrant Population in Absolute Numbers 2500 Htousands of immigrants 2250 2000 1750 1500 1250 1000 750 500 250 0 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Argentia Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru Uruguay VenezuelaSource: IMILA/CELADE database for the 2000 census and previous ones; Brazil - SINCRE/Ministry of Justice,Set/2012; Argentina and Uruguay – National Census of 2010; Chile – Departamento de Extranjería y Migración, 2010;Colombia – World Bank, 2005; Peru – Census of 2007; Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay e Venezuela - IOM 9. The data on the quantity of immigrants in each country demonstrate that both in Argentinaand Brazil there is a constant reduction of these percentages from the 1960s until the 2000s. Sincethen, and during the last decade, this tendency has reverted and, currently, both countries feature agrowing immigrant population. However, this growth – while significant – is not very expressive inabsolute terms. Another important element to be examined is the quantity of immigrants that are effectivelyauthorized by the national governments because this authorization implies: i) the existence of normsthat permit such authorization; and ii) the recognition of the immigrant by the state and hisreception with the society. As can be seen in figure 4 below, this element is the most sensitive withregard to the adopted policies by the countries in the region.9 Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2009). Trends inInternational Migrant Stock: The 2008 Revision (United Nations database, POP/DB/MIG/Stock/Rev.2008).
  • 13. Figure 4 Authorized Immigration (2001-2010) Temporary + Permanent (year by year) 250 200 Thousands 150 100 50 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru UruguaySource: Second Report of the System of Continuous Reports on International Migration in the Americas (SICREMI).OEA, 2012, p. 240 When taking a closer look at the above figure, the immigration peak in Argentina isparticularly striking. It can be explained by the fact that in 2006 the program “Pátria Grande” 10 cameinto force, which enabled the regularization of immigrants´ documentation as well as permission forresidence and work. According to the Argentine government, 423 697 immigrants had beenbeneficiaries of the program from 2006 until the end of 2008 11. In a study on Argentinean Migration Policy coordinated by Lelio Mármora (MÁRMORA,2011), it was identified that the constant demand for work force in the different sectors of economicactivity led to the creation of policies of opening and immigration since the beginning of theArgentine Republic. Thus, the Argentinean migration policy is not just perceived as a set of normscreated for the contention or favoring of the migratory flow but especially with regard to themeasures of inclusion of migrants in the Argentine society. The political participation of foreignersis a recognized right.10 Law N. 25.871/2004.11 Ministry of the Interior, National Direction of Migration, statistical report, August/2012.
  • 14. For Mármora this law, along with the ratification of other agreements, reinforces democracyand citizen participation through the evolution of spaces and with processes of integration andconsensus adopted in South America. This law, without doubt, is one of the most advanced texts interms of migration policy in countries of Latin America since it adopts of humanist perspective withregard to the migration question by recognizing the human right to migrate and having humanrights as its principal concern. Another prominent element on Figure 4 is the peak of authorized immigrants in Brazil in2009, which was certainly influenced by the Amnesty Law 12, approved on the 2nd July that year andwhich, according to the Ministry of Justice, enabled the regularization of more than 40 000immigrants (particularly Bolivians). Brazil has still not reformed its immigration law and the gapbetween the valid norms (in force since 1980) and the demands of the contemporary Braziliansociety has been patched by numerous normative resolutions frequently edited by the NationalCouncil for Immigration (CNIg) 13. In the case of Chile, according to information from its Ministry of the Interior, theexplanation derives from the application of extraordinary procedures of regularization of migrantssince 2007 (Ministério del Interior, 2010, p. 1). Furthermore, is it necessary to highlight that morethe 61% of immigrants in Chile come from neighboring countries (Ministério del Interior, 2010, p.3). It can also be noted that the Chilean migration policy can serve as an example to be followedwith regard to border questions because, since the government of Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006), Chilehas witnessed the beginning of modernization measures of its border control while at the same timethere was an attempt to carry out actions to enable greater openness of the country towardsmigrants. Despite not having a formal migration policy, greater integration with Argentina, Peru andBolivia was sought, which culminated with the creation of the “Borderland Card” (LEVINSON &DOÑA-REVECO, 2012). This card allows people who reside in communities near the borders to travel to cities inneighboring countries with greater ease, be it for work, medical treatments or tourism. In thatperiod, the right of migrants´ children, independent of their migrant status, to attend school underthe same conditions as national citizens was recognized. A second policy allowed the healthtreatment in public hospitals for pregnant women and for immigrants´ children, also independent oftheir migrant status. Uruguay is a special case because in 2008, despite not having registered an increase in thenumbers of authorized immigrants, it approved its new legislation on immigration which formally12 Law n.11.961/2009.13 CNIg is an inter-ministerial organ which has the prerogative to deal with questions of migrations in the sphere ofthe Executive.
  • 15. recognizes migrants´ rights and those of their families. Particularly interesting in the Uruguayan lawis the extension of the chapter related to family reunification which includes the right of permanentresidency until the third generation and not only for the spouse but also for the partner. Despite thefact that the impact of these measures is hard to visualize in the figure above since the volume isrelatively small, the data in Annex III confirm an expressive growth in the Uruguayan records since2008. In other words, when putting together the selected information above, one can state that thepolicies in force in the regional sphere did not substantially increase the quantity of migrantsreceived by each country on a yearly basis. However, specific measures of some countries allowedfor the regularization of undocumented immigrants and thus enabled their integration in society andthe recognition of their rights. The cases in hand demonstrate that, in truth, one can still not speakof a growth of the volume of immigration but it is impossible to deny the increase in the registrationof immigrants in the region and, consequently, of the quality of regional integration.Challenges Despite the verified advances in the migration policies of MERCOSUR member states andassociate countries, the progress is still little with regard to the increase of the quantity ofimmigrants and, especially, concerning the participation of the immigrants in the destination society.Most countries of the region allow for permanent immigrants to vote in local elections; however,this practice – while it should indeed be incentivized – is insufficient to promote theaccommodation of the immigrant. According to Zapata-Barrero (2004), when speaking of integration of whatever meaninggiven to the term, one is always referring to one sole addressee: the immigrants. The“accommodation”, on the other hand, has as unit of analysis the relation between the immigrantsand the citizens with different institutional structures (public spaces). These public spaces ofinteraction are the proper context of the policies of “accommodation” (ZAPATA-BARRERO,2004). He affirms that terms such as “integration” semantically do not entail the necessarycomponent of interaction, of “bi-directionality”, which he believes to be intrinsic in migrationpolicy. Moreover, Zapata-Barrero and Gemma Plnyol (2008) discuss the role of administrators inthe process of migration. For them, the migratory dynamic cannot be understood without bearing inmind the actors who influence it and who, in most cases, substantially modify the dynamic. Thedecisions taken by the public actors, such as the interventions of other social or economic actors,
  • 16. can significantly influence a migration process, lead it, manage it or limit it in a way that makes theseinvolved actors induce and manage social and political change. Among the actors involved in the implementation of the immigration policy the subnationalentities deserve special attention. Regional integration, which is usually thought of in terms of arelationship between countries, can never reach higher levels without mobilizing its subnationalentities (provinces, federal states, municipalities) to help in the implementation of a migration policyof regional integration. Maloney and Korinek (2011) endorse this perspective because they considerlocal polices of integration of immigrants into society as part of migration policy. Furthermore, it becomes increasingly clear that the majority of immigrants are living in citiesas well as in smaller cities in rural areas and, therefore, the awareness that the integration of migrantsoccurs at the local level should definitely enter into political and scientific discourses aboutintegration (CAPONIO & BORKERT, 2010). In that way, the municipal adminstrators should beseen as important actors in the implementaion of immigration policy. A final observation needs to be made with regard to the production and availability ofinformation about immigrants. There are a lot of data available but there is no synergy between thestates of the region in order to enhance this information and, consequently, the policies regardinginternational migration.Thus, it would be of fundamental importance that the Common MarketGroup (CMG) of MERCOSUR be interested in making the member states´ and associate countries´interests more compatible with the aim of establishing a common data base on internationalmigration in the region 14. A second step, more ambitious but equally necessary, would be the uniformazation of thevisa systems 15, in order to enable that all countries of the region had at least the same modalities andcategories of visas for foreigners.Conclusion Resuming the above, one can state that the regional agreements are important forestablishing guidelines on immigration in MERCOSUR and associate states, and that, above all,measures that allow for the regularization of the immigrant´ situation, even when adoptedindividually, have an impact on the quality of regional integration. However, the regional agreementsand the actions taken to regularize the situation of irregular immigrants are not instruments that cangenerate significant impacts in the migratory fluxes.14 Currently, only the OAS and the IOM feature consolidated information in international immigration in the region.15 The IOM classifies the visa systems of the countries of the region into 3 groups; see (OIM, 2012, pp. 75-76).
  • 17. The consolidation of a migration policy for the region would result in a transformation ofthe process of regional integration, which – well beyond strict trade questions – would contemplatesocial, cultural and humanist aspects of MERCOSUR and associate states. Currently, theinstitutional reality of the region and the gap between the adoption of measures with regard toimmigration in each state do not allow the affirmation that there is a regional migration policydespite the recognition of recent advances. Moreover, the actions taken in the regional sphere arerestricted to establishing norms that seek to make some social dynamics more compatible, such aswork, education and health. Nevertheless, this has been insufficient to induce an integration whichis reflected in an increase of immigration, since there is neither a clear political orientation for theregion nor a broad set of measures to be followed. In some countries, such as Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, significant advances can benoticed in dealing with migration issues, such as treating the immigrants in accordance withinternational norms of human rights and recognizing their participation in their societies in abroader sense. It is desirable, without doubt, that these examples be followed by the other countriesin the region. In the regional sphere, however, it is necessary to rigorously seek to accommodate theimmigrants in the receiving society by enabling their effective participation in the local communityas if they were nationals. In order for that accommodation to take place it is mandatory that thesubnational entities (federal states, provinces, municipalities or districts) get involved in theimplementation of the regional migration policy. In the end, it is in the cities and districts where, in amore evident way, the spaces of interaction and contact between the nationals and the immigrantstake place. This area of “conflict” is the ideal space for the state to act in the sense of promotingregional integration.
  • 18. BibliographyALBA, F., 2010. Migration Information Source. [Online]Available at:[Accessed 05 Dezembro 2012].ASIS, M. M. B., 2006. Migration Information Source. [Online]Available at:[Accessed 05 Dezembro 2012].BOERI, T., HANSON, G. & McCORMICK, B., 2002. Immigration Policy and the WealfareSystem. New York: Oxford University Press.CACCIAMALI, M. C. & AZEVEDO, F. A. G. d., 2005. Prolam/USP. [Online]Available at:[Accessed 25 junho 2012].CARVALHO RAMOS, A. d., 2008. Direitos dos estrangeiros no Brasil: a imigração, Direito deIngresso e os Direitos dos estrangeiros em situação irregular. In: Igualdade, diferença e DireitosHumanos. Rio de Janeiro: Lumen Juris, pp. 721-745.DAUVERGNE, C., 2005. Humanitarianism, Identity and Nation - migration law in Canada andAustralia. Vancouver: UBC Press.DAUVERGNE, C., 2008. Making People Illegal - what globalizations means for migration andLaw. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.HANTTON, T. J. & WILLIAMSON, J. G., 2005. Global Migration and the World Economy -Two centuries of policy and performance. s.l.:Massachussetts Institute of Technology.HUJO, K. & PIPER, N., 2010. South–South Migration - Implications for Social Policy andDevelopment. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Human Develop Report - OIM, 2009. Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development,s.l.: s.n.LEVINSON, A. & DOÑA-REVECO, C., 2012. Migration Information Source. [Online]Available at:[Accessed 23 Outubro 2012].MEYERS, E., 2004. International Immigration Policy: A theoretical and Comparative Analysis.New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Ministério del Interior, 2010. Informe Anual - Departamento de Extranjería y Migración, s.l.:s.n.NEWLAND, K., 2007. Migration Policy Institute. [Online]Available at:[Accessed 01 December 2012].OEA, 2012. Migración Internacional em las Américas, Segundo Informe del Sistema Continuode Reportes sobre Migración Internacional en las Américas (SICREMI), s.l.: Organização dosEstados Americanos.OIM, 2012. Panomarama Migratório de América del Sul 2012, s.l.: s.n.PATARRA, N. L., 2005. Migrações internacionais de e para o Brasil Contemporâneo. São Pauloem Perspectiva, pp. 23-33.PATARRA, N. L., 2006. Migrações internacionais: teorias, políticas e movimentos sociais.Estudos Avançados, 20(57).PATARRA, N. L., 2011. Políticas Públicas e Migração Internacional no Brasil. In: L. M.Chiarello, ed. Las Políticas Públicas sobre Migraciones y La Sociedad Civil en América Latina.São Paulo: Scalabrini International Migration Network, pp. 151-276.PELEGRINO, A., 2009. Las migraciones entre los países del Mercosur: tendencias ycaracterísticas. In: O. d. P. P. d. D. H. e. e. Mercosur, ed. Las migraciones humanas en elMercosur. Una mirada desde los derechos humanos.. Montevideo: s.n., pp. 17-26.
  • 19. PUTNAM, R. D., 1988. Diplomacy and domestic politics: the logic of two-level games.Internaitonal Organization, Summer, Volume 3, p. 42.REIS, R. R., 2011. A política do Brasil para as migrações internacionais. ContextoInternacional, Jan/Jun.33(1).SOARES, G. F. S., 2004. Os direitos humanos e a proteção dos estrangeiros. Revista daInformação Legislativa, Abr/Jun, 41(162), pp. 169-204.ZAPATA-BARREIRO, R., 2013. Borders in motion: Concept and policy nexus. Refugee SurveyQuarterly, pp. 1-23.ZAPATA-BARRERO, R., 2004. Inmigracón, innovación política y cultura de acomodación enEspaña. Barcelona: Fundació CIDOB.ZAPATA-BARRERO, R., 2010. Cultural Policies in Context of Diversities: the city as a settingfor inovation and opportunities. s.l.:Icària.ZAPATA-BARRERO, R. & PLNYOL, G., 2008. Los gestores del proceso de inmigración -actores y redes de actores en España y Europa. Barcelona: Fundación CIDOB.ZAYAS, A. M. d., 1975. International Law and Mass Population Transfer. HarvardInternational Law Journal, Volume 16, pp. 207-258.ZOLBERG, A. R., 1994. Changing Sovereignty Games and International Migration. IndianaJournal of Global Legal Studies, 2(1), pp. 153-170.ZOLBERG, A. R., 2006. A Nation by Design - Immigration Policy in the Fashioning ofAmerica. New York: Russell Sage Foundation .NOTES:i In 2005 a detailed study was carried out by Maria Cristina Cacciamali and Flávio Azevedo with regard to the use ofundocumented immigrants in the textile industry of São Paulo, which used irregular Bolivian work force, often inslave-like conditions (CACCIAMALI & AZEVEDO, 2005). Since 2009, with the entering into force of the Agreementon Residency for Nationals of the Member States of Mercosur, Chile and Bolivia, the problem pointed out by theauthors has tended to disappear due to the new possibility of regularization of the migrant situation. A new studyon this matter would be of great relevance because, if the irregular exploration continued, it might be states thevulnerability would not derive from the condition of being an undocumented foreigner but possibly from the highcosts for formalization to work in Brazil due to the duties of work.ii The institutional structure of MERCOSUR is composed of the Common Market Council (CMC), which is thehighest organ of political deliberation of the bloc; by the Common Market Group (CMG), the executive andtechnical organ; by the Trade Commission of MERCOSUR (TCM), auxiliary organ to the CMG and responsible forthe application and monitoring of the common trade policy; by the Common Parliamentary Commission, therepresentative instance of the parliaments of the member states and in charge of harmonizing the legislationbetween the countries; by the Consultative Economic and Social Forum, which consists of a consultative collegiateon economic and social topics; and by the Administrative Secretariat, which looks after the maintenance of theheadquarters in Montevideo, Uruguay.iii The data presented in this study were obtained through reports of the IOM and the OAS. In a first step, theheadquarters in São Paulo of each of the general consulates of the countries of the region were contacted.However, the obtained information does not follow the same pattern, which would require an extensive work ofmaking them compatible. However, it resulted that both the OAS and the IOM use the same source indicated bythe general consulates in their reports (National Census or reports of the Ministry of the Interior). Thus, in the end,the compilations of the IOM and OAS were used.iv It is interesting to note that during the accumulated time of 2004-20122, more than 75% of the authorization ofpermanent residency for immigrants was given to Asian citizens (mostly Chinese), while for citizens of MERCOSURit was only slightly more than 2%; the authorizations for temporary immigrants were 32.6% for American citizensoutside MERCOSUR (mostly Cuban), 26.3% Asians (mainly Chinese) and 15.8% for MERCOSUR citizens. However,one can note that in the Argentinean case the entering into force of the regional agreements meant a strongdecrease of the register of temporary immigrants (see Annex III).(Source: Records of the application “SAdEx” of the DNM (Ministry of the Interior, p.15-16)
  • 20. ANNEX I Population born abroad 2001 2002 2005 2010 Total (mil) 1532 1806 Argentina Percentage of pop. 4,1 4,5 Total (mil) 94 146 Bolivia Percentage of pop. 1,1 1,5 Total (mil) 684 1575 Brazil Percentage of pop. 0,4 0,4 0,5 0,9 Total (mil) 184 369 Chile Percentage of pop. 1,2 2,2 Total (mil) 105 110 Colombia Percentage of pop. 0,2 0,2 Total (mil) 104 194 Ecuador Percentage of pop. 0,83 1,34 Total (mil) 173 161 Paraguay Percentage of pop. 3,1 3,1 2,5 Total (mil) 60 90 Peru Percentage of pop. 0,2 0,2 0,3 Total (mil) 80 Uruguay Percentage of pop. 2,4 Total (mil) 1015 1007 Venezuela Percentage of pop. 4,2 3,5 Total (mil) 31548 39917 US Percentage of pop. 11 12,9 Total (mil) 5448 6778 Canada Percentage of pop. 17,6 19,9 Total (mil) 276 374 Costa Rica Percentage of pop. 6,8 8Source: Second Report of the System of Continuous Reports on InternationalMigration in the Americas (SICREMI). OAS, 2012. Data on Venezuela is addedwhich was gathered from the IOM (available at, accessed on 07/Feb./13)
  • 21. ANNEX II Authorized International Immigration 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010Argentina Permanent 18652 20161 25447 50215 80968 96284 96072 Temporary 6635 36149 29380 84753 144399 117740 82076 Total 25287 56310 54827 134968 225367 214024 178148Bolivia Permanent 2487 2278 Temporary 15067 17508 Total 17554 19786Brazil Permanent 8561 9779 13329 12655 16440 27058 18182 14213 56852 17060 Temporary 12448 12424 13431 15168 17367 18836 22714 27749 37374 43526 Total 21009 22203 26760 27823 33807 45894 40896 41962 94226 60586Chile Total 29835 32099 38149 48516 79377 68379 57059 63912Colombia Permanent 2522 1322 1044 1100 1313 1452 1532 1814 2339 3352 Temporary 31894 20359 10208 7307 7848 8628 9762 11313 13863 15878 Total 34416 21681 11252 8407 9161 10080 11294 13127 16202 19230Ecuador Permanent 40273 49428 52928 57802 61406 Temporary 23771 26774 27376 32043 33859 Total 64044 76202 80304 89845 95265Paraguay Permanent 5222 5530 3416 2519 567 1601 3563 5354 4340 5552 Temporary 723 256 348 336 266 299 493 566 1634 6970 Total 5945 5786 3764 2855 833 1900 4056 5920 5974 12522Peru Permanent 76 118 201 557 976 1388 2341 3056 4637 7251 Temporary 1855 1808 1765 2504 2232 1979 3385 2782 3273 2312 Total 1931 1926 1966 3061 3208 3367 5726 5838 7910 9563Uruguay Total 993 1680 1851 1631 1216 1156 1344 3981 3825 2183Source: Second Report of the System of Continuous Reports on International Migration in the Americas(SICREMI). OEA, 2012
  • 22. ANNEX III ARGENTINA Category by region 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 TEMPORÁRIA America 1.283 1.259 1.072 97 60 33 116 541 (MERCOSUR) America 1.050 1.148 1.513 1.394 1.189 873 906 1.187 (Non-Mercosur) Asia 442 540 1.306 1.517 1.360 961 615 720 Western Europe 685 900 1.114 1.054 900 613 513 450 Category by region PERMANENTE America 12 29 12 3 2 35 8 6 (MERCOSUR) America 54 44 53 44 56 107 131 76 (Non-Mercosur) Asia 129 125 160 224 338 1.009 947 804 Western Europe 10 7 8 4 6 91 157 106(Source: Records of the application “SAdEx” of DNM (National Directory of Migration, Ministry of the Interior, pp.15-16) ANNEX IV PRESENCE OF DOCUMENTED MIGRANTS IN RBAZIL, 2006 e 2012 2006 2012 Nationality Brazil Brazil Argentina 46.080 68.267 Germany 45.211 59.465 Bolivia 33.820 97.951 Cuba 3.564 5.312 China 37.800 58.914 Colombia 10.498 20.946 Chile 32.464 38.093 Korea 22.459 28.910 Spain 73.822 83.926 Ecuador 2.998 4.666 Italy 86.276 99.336 Japan 125.042 133.931 México 5.863 20.946 Nicaragua 758 1.240 Panamá 1.451 1.880 Paraguay 15.354 30.202 Peru 16.184 30.851 Portugal 317.583 330.860 Poland 9.274 11.948 Uruguay 34.021 46.059 Venezuela 4.481 8.218 Other countries 296.430 393.722 Total 1.175.353 1.575.643 Percentage of Mercosur+Assoc./total 16,6% 21,9% Source: SINCRE/Ministry of Justice, 20th April 2006 e 24th September 2012.