What do immigrants make of immigration policies? Insights from interviews with Venezuelans in Chile

Cristián Doña-Reveco, Lourdes Gouveia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this article, we build on qualitative data from 37 in-depth interviews with Venezuelan immigrants in Chile, collected in 2017 and 2018, to explore how they make sense of sudden immigration policy changes made by the Sebastián Piñera government in mid-2018. Linked to these perceptions, we explore our interviewees’ attitudes towards other immigrant groups. We contend that, while immigrant participation in policymaking often is a normatively desired form of inclusion, immigrant perceptions of other immigrants and of immigration policy are not uniform. We find that immigrants can have very negative perceptions of other immigrants, favouring restrictive policies. Immigrants influence the contexts of reception for newcomers, and—in the case of Chile—they have voting and political rights that places them in a position of casting some influence over immigration policies. Studying the Venezuelan case is particularly illuminating, as this immigration was considered a desirable or acceptable immigration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Migration
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography

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