Canceled: How to Legally Construct Nationals, Citizens and Foreigners? The Case of South America and Implications for Venezuela
Diego Acosta, Professor in European and Migration Law, University of Bristol, UK
States around the world often change their rules to define who are nationals and who are foreigners. Whilst most scholarly work has concentrated on Western Europe and the US, this presentation will discuss how ten South American states, which are amongst the oldest in the world, have been dealing with this issue for two centuries. Investigating South America is central for two reasons. Historically, South American states were the largest recipients of migrants in the world between 1880 and 1930, after the US. These migrants came mostly from Europe, in particular Italy. Today, South America is witnessing an exodus of approximately 4.5 million Venezuelans since 2015, primarily to other countries in the region itself. This is the second largest displacement in the world after that of Syrians. The legal responses that South American states are adopting, both in terms of citizenship and migration law, are distinctive in comparative perspective and are reflective of path dependency and regional policy diffusion processes that have been on-going for two centuries.