Latin America

Colombia’s decision to legalize Venezuelan migrants reignites refugee debate

Colombia announced it will issue work and residence visas to 1.7 million undocumented Venezuelans. Other countries have different approaches

Colombia decision to legalize Venezuelan migrants reignites refugee debate
Venezuelan migrants on the streets of Bogota. Photo: Daniel Andres Garzon/Shutterstock

Battered by the Covid-19 pandemic, some 10 percent of Latin America’s workforce is currently out of a job. This figure — an all-time record — has caused alarm in the United Nations, combined with the prediction that the ongoing Venezuelan migrant crisis could see 6 million people flee the nation by the end of this year. The topic gained significant attention this week, after right-wing Colombian President Iván Duque announced he would legalize 1.7 million undocumented Venezuelan migrants in his country, providing them with ten-year work and residency visas.

Mr. Duque’s unexpected humanitarian gesture drew comparisons to German...

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