Over 330.000 undocumented immigrants have become legal residents of Argentina in the last six months according to Interior Minister Alberto Fernandez. Most come from Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru.
The announcement was done in Brazil during a Mercosur and associate members’ ministerial level meeting on migration. Mr. Fernandez said the "Large Motherland Plan" was successfully launched last April.
Mr Fernandez revealed that until last Friday, 332.000 people had taken advantage of the legalization program of which 80% were Paraguayans and Bolivians, and the rest from Peru, Uruguay and Brazil.
Data shows that most immigrants are women, adults, and only 26% children which differs significantly from the population pyramid of those countries, thus meaning the majority walked into Argentina from neighboring countries looking for jobs.
Apparently the success of the Argentine program has moved Brazil into adopting a similar bilateral reciprocity plan which should help 300.000 Argentines in Brazil legalize their situation.
The Argentine plan was praised and supported by Brunson Mackinley, Director General of the International Organization for Migration.
At the meeting of Interior and Justice Ministers it was agreed that during the six months Paraguay has the chair of Mercosur, the so-called "Montevideo Act" to combat people traffic and the sale of babies, be fully implemented.