Poverty rate:


of the total population.


  • Sending country: More than 650,000 Chileans, or 3.5% of the population, reside abroad, mainly in Argentina (33.3%), the US (17.2%) and Spain (8.7%). 

  • Destination country: About 1,500,000 immigrants, representing 8% of the total population, live in Chile. Principal countries of origin are Venezuela (450,000 people), Haiti (200,000 people) and Peru (190,000 people).

  • Host country for refugees: 15,000 refugees and asylum seekers reside in Chile






* Weekly data update



  • Borders have been re-opened since July.

  • Health and migration policies grant migrants and citizens equal rights to health; however, access to public health depends on user category, which is determined by user contribution rate. This results in significant gaps in access for many in the migrant population.

  • The government, through the consulate, has coordinated the return of Chilean citizens that found themselves stranded outside of the country, on humanitarian return flights to Chile, after the repatriation of immigrants in countries like the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Ecuador.

  • Online procedures have been implemented to apply for permanent residence, for some nationalities, but not for citizens of neighboring countries. Likewise, the validity of expired identity cards was extended, in cases where the ID holder had requested an extension, change, or permanent residence.

  • In the middle of the pandemic, the government put into “immediate discussion” Ley de Migraciones bill, affirming that the country needed a new institutional framework to confront the eventual migratory influx in 2021, post-pandemic. The bill is criticized for criminalizing undocumented migration and for the attempt to pass the bill without participation from the citizenry under exceptional circumstances, as was the current “Ley de extranjería” during the military dictatorship.

  • The government established a Humanitarian Return Plan for people who voluntarily wish to return to their countries, due to the Covid-19 health crisis, giving priority to those from Haiti. However, this plan requires people who take advantage of it to sign an affidavit of commitment promising not to return to Chile within nine years.

  • In July, deportation proceedings were reinitiated for foreigners who have committed “administrative offenses” or other crimes


  • Chilean State Racism against Haitians

During the pandemic: 


  • Approximately 50 Haitians were placed in quarantine within care facilities after a coronavirus outbreak occurred in their neighbourhood in a low-income area of north Santiago, where they lived in overcrowded conditions and where they had been harassed by others frightened by the outbreak.

  • Official statements made by the Presidency and the Ministry of Health have contained racist rhetoric, including statement that associate the spread of the virus with the Haitian community in particular, and informal migrants in general.

  • The Ley de Migraciones bill criminalized unregulated entry into the country, which would directly affect migrants in that particular situation.

  •  The Humanitarian Return Plan for people who voluntarily want to return to their countries, with priority given to Haitian immigrants. It requires that they agree to the provision stating that they must not return to Chile for nine years, a measure that some have called “disguised deportation.” The measure was declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

  • With renewed deportations, there would be immediately 479 pending cases, all of which would prohibit return to Chile for ten years. Combining labor inspection audits with police controls to detect labor and migration irregularities, undocumented migrants were arrested by the Investigative Police across various cities of the country. The insufficient adoption of preventive measures against Covid-19 was also noted.

*For more detail go to the digital archive that we created:

In mid-March 2020, nearly every country on the continent declared a health emergency. These countries closed their borders and adopted a series of exceptional measures, arguing that forced immobility as a  solution to contain the virus. Following the shutdown of borders,  more than 30 researchers from the Americas, interested in analyzing the migratory question politically, organized virtually and began to consider the particular situation of millions of migrants, women, men, children and adolescents, from the continent and/or from other latitudes, all of whom are mobile and in transit.

Original Concept: Soledad Álvarez Velasco, University of Houston

General Coordination:Soledad Álvarez Velasco, University of Houston & Ulla D. Berg, Rutgers University

Research, Systematization and Development of Contents: Soledad Álvarez Velasco, University of Houston;  Ulla D. Berg, Rutgers University; Lucía Pérez-Martínez, FLACSO-Ecuador; Mónica Salmon, New School for Social Research; Sebastián León,  Rutgers University.

Coordination polyphonic map: Iréri Ceja Cárdenas: Museo Nacional/ Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro

Project Advisor: Nicholas De Genova, Universidad of Houston.


Translation team Spanish - English: 

Soledad Álvarez Velasco, Mónica Salmón, Ulla Berg, Luin Goldring, Tanya Basok, Ingrid Carlson, Gabrielle Cabrera.

Translation team Spanish - Portuguese: 

Iréri Ceja, Gustavo Dias, Gislene Santos, Elisa Colares, Handerson Joseph, Caio Fernandes, María Villarreal.

Website Design and Development:  ACHU! Studio; Francisco Hurtado Caicedo, Social Observatory of Ecuador

Photography: David Gustafsson y Cynthia Briones.

Video: David Gustafsson.

Some of the researchers of this project are members of these CLACSO Working Groups

English translation and proofreading by Gabrielle Cabrera, Rutgers University.

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