The announcement of the expulsion of foreigners in an irregular immigration situation would reach some 2,462 foreign citizens in Arequipa, according to figures from the National Police of Peru (PNP) based on the interventions carried out so far this year.
Of them, at least 2,122 are linked to different crimes such as human trafficking, robberies and drug micro-marketing, mainly. After being detained, they went through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) of the Criminal Investigation area, then the Public Ministry and the Judiciary determined their release or confinement in a prison.
From the Immigration Division of the PNP in Arequipa, they added 340 foreigners who were intervened in identity control operations and the start of an Administrative Sanctioning Process (PAS) with Migrations was determined.
This year, another 510 were also in this group of illegals, but they stood up to avoid being expelled. The PNP estimates that 90% to 95% of the 15,000 foreigners who regularized their immigration status in Arequipa work, either in formal or informal employment.
They question the expulsion process
Although the national government decreed that as of November 10, citizens of other countries who are in an irregular condition be expelled from Peru, when the provisions for this were issued, the advisor of the Legal Clinic of the Peru-Venezuela Integration Center Project José Romero pointed out that the measure is controversial.
“Sometimes foreigners find themselves in the need to leave their country, without documents or on the path of the migration process they go through areas like Arequipa, but several parameters were not analyzed in the Government’s provisions. […]. It seems like a populist measure far from critical analysis,” Romero mentioned.
For example, he warned that it was not taken into account that a foreign person can work in Majes, Caravelí or other distant areas and, therefore, cannot go to Migrations in Arequipa or access virtuality to manage his Temporary Permanence Permit that It is valid for up to one year, an immigration card that can be extended, or directly nationalized after two (2) years of stay.
Migrations of the PNP estimated that in Arequipa—until before November 10—there were 15 thousand regular foreigners. 80% (12 thousand) of them, Venezuelans. The rest are Colombians, Argentines, Germans, Spanish and from the Middle East. Of all of them, 12 thousand had a PPT and 3 thousand had an immigration card.
Another reason is that these regulations are not yet applied. From the Immigration area of Arequipa they reported that only this week they will coordinate with Migrations to articulate actions to retain irregular migrants and their subsequent expulsion.
Romero adds that there is no known plan to transfer foreigners to the border, and in Arequipa, being a transit area, greater logistics would be needed for these expulsions.
Even to directly address this irregular migration, he explained that control had to be reinforced on the borders of Peru with other countries such as Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador, mainly.
“If they relate this measure to the conditions of citizen insecurity [del país]something more specific and specific could have been done, and that has to do with this issue,” he noted.
In recent months, the occurrence of events linked to hitmen has increased in Arequipa. So far this year alone, 7 foreigners were murdered due to the dispute over criminal control of two criminal organizations linked to “Los Gallegos.” [de Venezuela]according to the police.
A situational study of the migrant population between 2020 and 2022, where José Romero collaborated, shows that 9 out of 10 Venezuelan foreigners feel comfortable, perceive job opportunities and appreciate the city’s climate, as the main reasons for their stay in Arequipa.