By Sylvia Ibarra
Argentina is a country that traces its roots to many waves of immigration from countries all over the world. But it is important to distinguish the fact that European immigration has always been treated differently than immigration from Latin American countries. European immigration has always been welcomed and admired by Argentine citizens and encouraged by the country’s institutions. On the other hand, immigrants from its neighboring countries continue to live in an environment of discrimination and are often belittled by the Argentine society.
Immigrants all over the world experience the same types of troubles, which include psychological problems (caused from being uprooted willingly or not from their native country), conflict with adjusting to a new place, finding adequate shelter, and finding a job that offers a enough income and stable working conditions. The severity of these problems varies from person to person but these are all universal problems encountered by immigrants.
One of the most troublesome issues for immigrants in Argentina is the legalization process, which allows the immigrant to obtain better living conditions and of course abide by the laws of the country. The Argentine government aims to have a simple legalization process but it is actually a very long process for the immigrant. It is often the case that immigrants have to wait several months for required paperwork to be completed and documented by immigration services, when the wait should not take this long.
Other serious problems for immigrants in Argentina involve discrimination, unstable working conditions, and other abusive conditions. Unfortunately, many immigrants with high levels of education and degrees but are unable to work in their career because the licensures are invalid in Argentina. These individuals are often forced to work in manual labor jobs because it is all they can find.
These are all brief examples of the everyday encounters of an immigrant in Argentina. We must keep in mind that any immigrant is a human like any of us and deserves all of his or her human rights.
For this reason Fundación Ciudadanos del Mundo aims to continue to inform our society of the ongoing discussions in regards to immigration around the world. We hope that our focus on defending human rights and fighting for equality will open more opportunities for all immigrants.