March 5, 2021, marked a milestone in Argentina's migration policy with the repeal of the Urgency and Necessity Decree (DNU) 70/2017, implemented during the tenure of former President Mauricio Macri. This decree imposed stricter controls to prevent the entry of foreign criminals and expedited the expulsion procedures for immigrants with criminal records. The repeal, carried out through Decree 138/2021 by President Alberto Fernández, represents a significant shift towards inclusivity and respect for human rights.
DNU 70/2017, signed by Macri, modified key aspects of Law No. 25,871, drawing criticism for violating due process, the right to defense, and the right to family unity. The Federal Administrative Litigation Chamber declared its unconstitutionality in 2018, and after the appeal, a decision from the Supreme Court of Justice was awaited. Fernández's decision, published in the Official Gazette, nullifies the changes introduced, deeming them "irreconcilable with the National Constitution and the international system for the protection of human rights."
With this initiative, Argentina returns to a path of inclusion, valuing the contribution of migrants to the country's culture and identity. Macri's Decree affected due process, the right to defense, and family unity, facing strong opposition from international bodies and social organizations. The repeal reflects a renewed commitment to human rights and the elimination of criminalizing perspectives.
During the validity of DNU 70/2017, the National Directorate of Ethnic-Racial Equity, Migrants, and Refugees of the Ministry of Human Rights provided support to migrant families facing institutional violence and violations of their rights. The repeal, in line with the 2004 Migration Law, restores balance, allowing for the expulsion of foreigners convicted of serious crimes with sentences exceeding 5 years. However, it eliminates the summary process that limited the right to appeal measures within three business days.
President Fernández has taken an additional step by ordering the creation of an Advisory Commission on Migration Policy, under the Ministry of the Interior. This commission aims to "propose non-binding measures related to the application and updating of the Migration Law," highlighting the government's commitment to a more inclusive and updated approach.
In conclusion, the repeal of DNU 70/2017 represents a fundamental change in Argentina's migration policy, restoring principles of inclusion and respect for human rights. Argentina, by returning to the perspective of the 2004 Migration Law, fulfills its international commitments and underscores its dedication to protecting the rights of migrants.
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