ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Displacement, "Crises" & Critical Junctures: Regional Reactions to Venezuelan Forced Displacement

International Relations
Latin America
Migration
Policy Analysis
Asylum
Domestic Politics
Nieves Fernández Rodríguez
WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Luisa Feline Freier
Universidad del Pacífico, Lima
Luisa Feline Freier
Universidad del Pacífico, Lima
Nieves Fernández Rodríguez
WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Abstract

With over 6 million emigrants, the Venezuelan exodus is the second largest and fastest escalating displacement scenario in the world. Policy reactions in Latin American countries, which host the lion share of Venezuelan citizens, pose two intriguing research puzzles. First, countries governed conservatively were much more welcoming towards Venezuelan migrants and refugees than their left of center counterparts. This puzzle becomes even more salient when considering that leftist governments across Latin America initiated the liberalization of immigration and refugee laws and policies of the 2000s. Second, Colombia - the country that hosts the largest Venezuelan population – has been amongst the most generous in its efforts to regularize and protect Venezuelans. Based on 48 elite interviews in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, this paper analyzes the determinants of political reactions to Venezuelan immigration. We argue that international relations originally trumped domestic concerns and led to framing Venezuelan displacement as a humanitarian crisis. We then throw light on the critical junctures at which domestic concerns took over foreign policy considerations, and Venezuelan displacement was reframed as a domestic security crisis in each of the three countries.