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04 February, 2017

Evo Morales slams Argentina’s Trump-style border wall proposal

Discriminatory policies that condemn and criminalize migration are a shameful retreat to rights conquered by our peoples,” Morales tweeted.

Bolivian President Evo Morales spoke out Thursday against a proposed wall by Argentina's Mauricio Macri government alongside its shared northern border with Bolivia and Paraguay.

We are countries of the Patria Grande (Latin America) and we cannot follow the North and its policies, building walls to divide us,” Morales tweeted on Thursday.

Earlier this week, right-wing Argentine congressman Alfredo Olmedo proposed legislation promoting the construction of a wall in an effort to curb immigration. "I agree 100% with Trump,” Olmedo said, according to The Guardian. “I know that border very well, and a wall is the solution. We have to build a wall."

Olmedo was born and raised in Argentina’s northern Rosario de la Frontera province, which shares a border with both Bolivia and Paraguay.

Morales also criticized President Macri’s recent executive order on immigration. Last Monday, the right-wing head of state signed a decree amending the country's immigration laws in order to speed up the deportation of foreigners who have committed crimes. The decree also prohibits the entry of foreign citizens into the South American country if they have prior criminal convictions.

Discriminatory policies that condemn and criminalize migration are a shameful retreat to rights conquered by our peoples,” Morales tweeted on Friday morning, adding that the Bolivian government is urging the international community to take action.

Macri claims there was an increase in the country’s population of foreigners in prison, topping 21 percent in 2014. Argentina’s Center for Legal and Social Studies, however, reports the figure to be no more than 5 percent. With Macri’s decree in place, undocumented immigrants will be prohibited from returning to Argentina for at least eight years. Previous immigration laws banned them from returning for up to five years.

While Olmedo is a longtime political ally of Macri, the Argentine president has not yet signaled plans to move forward with the proposed border wall. None of Argentina’s major political parties have endorsed its construction, including Macri’s Cambiemos party. Olmedo continues to publicly support the immigration policies of U.S. President Donald Trump, who is trying to force the Mexican government into paying for a wall alongside both countries’ shared border.

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