Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Monica Varsanyi

Subject Categories

Migration Studies


Chile, Vulnerability, Immigration, Sovereignty, Human Rights, Migration


The South American nation of Chile is rapidly becoming a receiving nation for immigrants from other South American nations and the Caribbean. By December 31, 2017, the immigrant population had surpassed 1.1 million, 300,000 of whom are in irregular status. Immigration to Chile is governed by Decree-Law No. 1094 (DL 1094) of 1975, the oldest immigration law in South America, decreed by the military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet. I argue that the continued application of DL 1094, and the Chilean state’s failure to enact a new law that addresses immigration from a human rights-based approach, contributes to perpetuating the vulnerability of immigrants, particularly those whose situations are precarious due to their legal and economic status, gender, and ethnicity. Immigrant vulnerability can be observed in the barriers certain immigrants face accessing job security, regular immigration status, access to adequate housing, and to essential social services.



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