E.g., 07/08/2022
E.g., 07/08/2022
South America

South America

With the exodus of more than 5.6 million Venezuelans, South America is experiencing major change in its migration flows and policies. Beyond the immediate migration and humanitarian crisis, the region has experienced more movement in recent years, chiefly for labor reasons, with Brazil the preferred destination for migration from outside the continent.

South American migration beyond the region is chiefly to the United States and Europe. The research offered here sketches the dynamism of South America's migration and refugee trends and policies.

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Cover image for COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2021
Reports
May 2022
By  Meghan Benton, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Jeanne Batalova, Lawrence Huang and Jie Zong
cover image for How We Talk about Migration: The Link between Migration Narratives, Policy, and Power
Reports
October 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Haim Malka and Shelly Culbertson
Cover image for African Migration through the Americas: Drivers, Routes, and Policy Responses
Reports
October 2021
By  Caitlyn Yates and Jessica Bolter
Cover image for Refugee Resettlement and Complementary Pathways: Opportunities for Growth
Reports
September 2021
By  Susan Fratzke, Maria Belen Zanzuchi, Kate Hooper, Hanne Beirens, Lena Kainz, Nathan Benson, Eliza Bateman and Jessica Bolter

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Migrants and natives dance at a multicultural celebration in La Vega, Chile.

In the years since its return to democracy, Chile has emerged as a major immigration destination within South America. Yet recent large-scale migrant arrivals from Haiti and Venezuela have shaken the country’s politics and at times overwhelmed a decades-old immigration framework that critics contended was woefully out of date. New reforms could tighten immigration, but many questions remain. This country profile analyzes migration to Chile particularly since 1990.

A couple celebrating carnival at home.

South Americans make up a relatively small share of all U.S. immigrants. But their numbers have been growing in recent years and flows are diversifying, particularly with new arrivals from Venezuela. This article offers key statistics on the South American immigrant population in the United States.

A Haitian man hugs his daughter in Peru.

The chaotic arrival of thousands of Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico border in September 2021 was the culmination of a journey through the Americas that began for many a decade ago. This article examines how Brazil became a refuge for many after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, and how Haitians then moved on to Chile and other countries as conditions changed, and then onward again further north.

climate change migration flood

Climate change is affecting human movement now, causing internal displacement and international migration, and will do so in the future. But the impact is often indirect, and rarely is the process as straightforward as one might think. This article provides an overview of research on how climatic hazards drive and affect migration, reviewing which types of people might migrate and under what conditions.

A young Venezuelan girl

Until recently, the Venezuelan immigrant population in the United States was relatively small compared others from South America. But it has grown significantly, reaching 394,000 in 2018, as Venezuela's destabilization has driven large-scale emigration. Compared to other immigrants in the United States, Venezuelans have higher levels of education but are also more likely to live in poverty, as this Spotlight explores.

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A woman in a winter coat receives food from a woman in an orange safety vest at a train station in P
Commentaries
May 2022
By  Meghan Benton and Andrew Selee
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Commentaries
March 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Diego Chaves-González
IOm_Colombia_Passport_Woman_smaller
Commentaries
February 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Diego Chaves-González
Picture of female Venezuelan migrant in Colombia, leaning over balcony railing
Video
June 7, 2022

The presidents of Colombia and Ecuador speak at this high-level event held on the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, focusing on the critical need for succcessful integration of Venezuelans in the Americas.

World of Migration episode 7 tile
Expert Q&A, Audio
November 24, 2021

With migration a dynamic phenomenon in the Americas, the U.S. government increasingly is realizing that migration management should be viewed in a regional context. This requires a new set of policies and ways of engagement with countries in North and Central America, and beyond, as MPI President Andrew Selee discusses with colleague Andrea Tanco in this episode of our World of Migration podcast.

Video
October 14, 2021

In this webinar, speakers examine issues of integration and social cohesion in Colombia, and explore how the international community can support Colombia and other countries receiving significant numbers of Venezuelan migrants and refugees. They also discuss Colombian initiatives that seek to improve the situation for migrants as well as the host communities where they reside.

Video, Audio
October 14, 2021

En este webinario ponentes examinan cuestiones de integración y cohesión social en Colombia. También se explora cómo la comunidad internacional puede apoyar a los países que están recibiendo altas cantidades de personas venezolanas, como Colombia, mientras intentan estabilizar la situación de migrantes tanto como la de las comunidades de acogida, además de potenciar los beneficios de la migraci

Video, Audio
September 20, 2021

En esta conversación, líderes de ciudades medianas examinan las respuestas sociales de la region que han resultado en la integración de nuevos migrantes en comunidades locales.

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Recent Activity

Reports
June 2022

The number of people who work from home or another location other than a traditional office has been growing for decades, but the pandemic has accelerated this shift—with important implications for immigration policy. This report examines trends in remote work, challenges digital nomads and employers face when navigating immigration systems, and opportunities to adapt immigration policies to keep pace with changes in the world of work.

Video, Webinars
June 7, 2022

The presidents of Colombia and Ecuador speak at this high-level event held on the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, focusing on the critical need for succcessful integration of Venezuelans in the Americas.

Commentaries
June 2022

La Declaración de Los Ángeles sobre Migración y Protección, firmada por los líderes de los países del hemisferio occidental al concluirse la Cumbre de las Américas, supone un importante paso progresivo en la creación de un lenguaje común y un coherente conjunto de ideas para gestionar, de forma cooperativa, los flujos migratorios en las Américas, una región que ha sido testigo de una gran movilidad en años recientes.

Commentaries
June 2022

The Los Angeles Agreement on Migration and Protection signed by leaders from 20 countries across the Western Hemisphere at the 2022 Summit of the Americas marks a significant step forward in creating a common language and a coherent set of ideas for more cooperatively managing migration movements across a region that has seen very significant mobility in recent years, as this commentary explains.

Articles

In the years since its return to democracy, Chile has emerged as a major immigration destination within South America. Yet recent large-scale migrant arrivals from Haiti and Venezuela have shaken the country’s politics and at times overwhelmed a decades-old immigration framework that critics contended was woefully out of date. New reforms could tighten immigration, but many questions remain. This country profile analyzes migration to Chile particularly since 1990.

Commentaries
May 2022

Recent displacement crises—ranging from Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Myanmar, South Sudan, to most recently Ukraine—have imposed huge stresses on the humanitarian protection regime. Yet individual countries and regional organizations have been innovating to meet the challenge and expand the options available for protection, in some cases bypassing beleaguered asylum systems. This commentary traces the rise of more ad hoc approaches.

Reports
May 2022

Despite high hopes that international movement would be revived in 2021 after the deep chill in 2020 with designation of a global pandemic, cross-border mobility remained limited as migrants and travelers faced complex rules, high costs, and uncertainty as new COVID-19 variants emerged. This report assesses global mobility in 2021, including changing use of travel restrictions, their impacts on mobile populations, and efforts to safely restart migration and travel.

Reports
May 2022

Public opinion of refugees and asylum seekers is often portrayed as a binary, reflected in stories of them as “threats” or “benefits.” Yet in reality, people can hold a variety of competing beliefs and concerns about forced migrants and their impacts on society. This report explores these different narratives, the contexts in which they flourish, and the types of initiatives that have been used to try to boost solidarity and ease tensions.

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