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Chile pulls out of UN Migration Pact

Chile announced this weekend it would be pulling out of the UN Migration Pact. 

The pact, whilst non-binding, offers guidance on how to protect migrants, help them integrate into society, and to help them return to their home countries when it no longer poses a risk. 

So far 150 nations have agreed to be signatories of the pact. 

Speaking on this issue Chilean ministry sub secretary, Ubilla said, “Our position is clear […] We have said that migration is not a human right. Countries have a right to determine the entry requirements for foreign citizens.” The Chile’s Progressive Party has responded describing the decision as “shameful and authoritarian”.

This decision follows that of United States, Austria, Hungary and Poland, who all opposed the bill arguing it would encourage migration. 

On twitter human rights lawyer and lawmaker for Chile’s Communist Party said the government was taking their lead and heading down “the ultraright path of Trump, Netanyahu and Bolsonaro”.

The decision is believed to represent a hardening of Chile's stance against a migrant population which has grown fivefold in the past three decades, due to increased migration from Latin American countries such as Haiti, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Colombia.

The Chilean government had in recent months put on “repatriation” flights for Haitian migrants, which included tightening visa controls and deporting those with criminal records.

Critiques of the “closed-door decision” such as Ricardo Lagos Weber, president of the Foreign Affairs Commission for Chile’s Senate, have called upon Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero. “I understand that foreign policy is led by the President of the Republic but we could at least discuss it," Ampuero said. 

Ana Piquer, Amnesty’s executive director in Chile has described the state of affairs as alarming. “Chile was an active part of this pact’s negotiations and was considered one of the states that favored its implementation […] The last-minute decision not to participate in the Morocco summit seems a step back on its promise of affording rights to migrants," Piquer said.