(LibertySociety.com) – A devastating tragedy occurred at a migrant encampment in Coronel, Chile, when a fire broke out and burned down two homes. Fourteen migrants from Venezuela, including eight children, died in the fire, which was believed to have been caused by the overheating of a heating unit. Three separate families were in close quarters in the two homes, and some tried to escape from the fire without success. The houses were extremely small and built with subpar materials, causing them to quickly engulf in flames. The children killed in the fire were between the ages of four and 13.
The migrant encampment has housed a growing number of people in recent years, requiring the quick construction of additional units. However, countries across the globe have begun tightening up their once-relaxed policies regarding immigration, and Chile is no exception. Increased crime in the western South American nation has turned citizens off of allowing unfettered migration. Just five years ago, 70 percent of Chileans were supportive of immigration. In a recent survey released by Best Countries, that number has dropped to just 42.5 percent.
Chile has imposed stricter policies on immigrants, especially those who try to enter the country illegally. Back in 2021, the country overhauled its immigration system for the first time in nearly 50 years. Visa requirements were changed, and the country began deporting migrants who came into the country illegally. The country has faced harsh criticism from Amnesty International for placing troops at the northern border. Some
analysts believe that it is unfair to blame increased crime on the influx of immigrants, claiming that there is no evidence to support the accusations.
The country is led by a progressive president, but the Republican Party will have a fair amount of say in the upcoming rewriting of the country’s constitution. Immigration is likely to be a key concern during the process, as public pressure has mounted to stop massive numbers of migrants from entering the country.
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