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Turning the Immigration Policy Paradox Up-side Down? Populist Liberalism and Discursive Gaps in South America

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Migration Review
Early online date8 May 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2015
DatePublished (current) - 2015


A paradox of officially rejecting but covertly accepting irregular migrants
has long been identified in the policies of Western receiving states. In
South America, however, a liberal discourse of universally welcoming all
immigrants has replaced the formally restrictive immigration rhetoric. This
discursive liberalization has found partial translation into immigration laws
and policies, but governments reject increasing irregular south-south
migration. This paper explores in how far immigration policies in South
America constitute a liberal turn, or rather a reverse immigration policy
paradox of officially welcoming but covertly rejecting irregular migrants,
and identifies South American ‘populist liberalism’ in the sphere of



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