Chile's Interior Minister Rodrigo Delgado wants to close the country's northern border as a new stage of the “state of exception” already in force in four provinces where the migration crisis is escalating.
“The time has come to close the border even more and be able to have the tools that the new immigration legislation and the state of exception are giving us. We are going to continue using them and we do not rule out taking more measures,” he told reporters Friday.
Delgado also admitted a curfew was being planned for the provinces of Tamarugal, El Loa, Arica and Parinocata, while increasing road controls of vans and other vehicles possibly binging in more migrants across the border.
Last week Chilean truckers staged a series of protests against irregular migration, which led the Government of President Sebastián Piñera to decree a state of exception at several border crossings, a measure that allows the deployment of the Armed Forces.
Piñera is less than a month away from leaving office March 11, when President-elect Gabriel Boric is to be sworn in.
In the meantime, the Government has announced new by-laws to the migration law, which will allow for redirections, which are in fact deportations without a judicial procedure.
Delgado also explained that work is being done with Bolivia to fine-tune this process and said that on the border with Peru expulsions were being carried out fully.
”We only say yes to regular migration, no to illegal migration, that is why (...) more than 670 military personnel were deployed in the more than 1,100 kilometers of border with Peru and Bolivia,” Piñera said Thursday.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Chile remains one of the most attractive destinations for migrants within Latin America due to its political and economic stability. Dozens of people, including children and pregnant women, have reportedly never stopped pouring in through the crossing from Pisiga Carpa (Bolivia) to Colchane (Chile).