The new migratory flows in Latin America and the Caribbean have an impact on the laws of the countries of the region. To understand how states are responding to their new migration challenges, a new IDB publication compiles and analyzes the most comprehensive database on Migration Policy Regimes in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This new database presents information resulting from the analysis of more than 435 legal instruments of the 26 countries that are members of the bank around 40 indicators that allow multidimensional comparisons, identify subregional patterns and observe trends in the recent evolution of these policies.
The most complete database on migration regimes in Latin America and the Caribbean
This new IDB database allows you to analyze and explore the way in which each of the 26 states manages certain aspects of migration, as well as view additional information that is useful for understanding the legislative context in each country.
In this blog we present some of the main findings of the database analysis published in this new IDB document.
The migratory regimes of Latin America and the Caribbean
Migration policy regimes are the main tools used by countries to guide and organize their response to the different challenges posed by migration. Through them, countries define the requirements for entry and permanence in their territory, as well as the rights to which non-citizens have access.
Latin American countries have modern immigration laws
Most of the countries analyzed have recent, modern immigration laws that contemplate, at least in the letter of the law, a wide range of rights that promote socio-economic inclusion and access to a residence permit for migrants.
In general, the new migration laws adopted in the 21st century in Latin America include permanent mechanisms for the regularization of migrants; rights of access to the labor market, public health and education; right to family reunification; possibility of access to the permanent residence; and, in some cases, voting rights in local elections.
90 migrant regularization processes in 20 years
The countries of Latin America opt for the regularization of migrants, although not so much those of the Caribbean. Since 2000, more than 90 extraordinary regularizations have been registered in 18 of the 26 countries analyzed. Regularization is a tool used by countries that face the challenge of formalizing the presence of migrant populations in an irregular situation. Although regularization facilitates socioeconomic inclusion in the country, we must continue to investigate the reasons why there are significant populations of non-nationals in an irregular situation and the possibility of enabling more stable paths in the laws of access to residence.
Free residence and mobility agreements influence the labor market and family reunification
Many of the countries offer preferential access to temporary residence, through subregional or bilateral agreements, or even through domestic regulations, for migrants from certain countries in the region who meet basic requirements. In some cases, this preferential treatment also applies to obtaining permanent residence or nationality in the country. On the other hand, we have seen an increase in the number of prior visa requirements for nationals of other countries in the same region.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the countries have ratified the main human rights instruments
The percentage of ratification of international and regional instruments on human rights is very high in Latin America, and relatively high in the Caribbean. Our database analyzes the nine main United Nations human rights treaties that contain elements relevant to the mobility of people, six international treaties that also regulate aspects of human mobility in a specific way, as well as the two World Pacts on migration and refuge from 2018. In addition, the database also contains the analysis of regional instruments of the Americas.