Illegal Immigration in Latin America

S. D. writes: Argentinians, partly Italian, do not suffer from illegal immigration or let Indians reconquer them.

In fact, Argentina has a very serious illegal immigration problem right now, as many mestizos and even Indians have moved into the country from Bolivia and Peru. Most of them have moved to Buenos Aires where they live in vast, crime-ridden slums. Mestizos are responsible for a wave of street crime in the capital.

In Latin America, illegal immigration is generally no big deal, since for the most part, everyone is more or less the same race. There are many illegal Colombians in Venezuela, illegal Nicaraguans in Costa Rica, illegal Jamaicans and Haitians in Cuba and illegal Peruvians and Bolivians in Argentina. In all of these countries, the illegals are simply regularized from time to time in large numbers, since the idea is that the illegals are the same race as the natives.

There is not much of a problem of illegals working for less than natives in Latin America, as they are always getting regularized, and after they are legal, they work for the same wages as natives. Further, wages are lousy for most everyone in Latin America, so the natives are already working for a low wage, and you can’t go much lower than a basement unless you are burying bodies.

There are a couple of exceptions where illegals are treated very poorly in the region.

In the Dominican Republic, the illegals are Haitians, and they are treated horribly, used as almost slave labor on sugar plantations and regularly rounded up and shipped back to Haiti with considerable brutality. Race plays a factor here, as Dominicans are mulattos – about half Black – and Haitians are pretty much pure Black. The mulattos feel much superior to the Black Haitians who are for all intents and purposes just niggers to the Dominicans.

There are quite a few Central Americans in Mexico, typically on their way to the US, but they are treated horribly, raped and brutalized by police and other Mexicans and shipped back home.

It is not known why Mexicans is so cruel to Central Americans, but perhaps they hate each other. I know when my mother was in Guatemala on vacation, she tried to use some Mexican money in a store, and the Guatemalan woman at the cash register spat at her, cursed and threw the money to the ground. Apparently she despised Mexicans for some reason.


Filed under Americas, Amerindians, Argentina, Black-White (Mulattos), Blacks, Bolivians, Caribbean, Central America, Costa Rica, Crime, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemalans, Haitians, Hispanics, Illegal, Immigration, Jamaicans, Labor, Latin America, Mestizos, Mexicans, Mexico, Mixed Race, Peru, Peruvians, Race Relations, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Social Problems, Sociology, South America, Venezuela

24 responses to “Illegal Immigration in Latin America

  1. Stealth

    A large portion of the population of Argentina is made up of people who at least LOOK entirely European. Many of them wouldn’t seem out of place in even in northern European countries. Maybe half of the folks you see on the street down there are white. They don’t consider themselves to be of the same race as the aboriginals (the Argentines use the Spanish equivalent) from Bolivia and Peru. They have racial epithets for these people that are as nasty as anything you’ll hear in the United States.

    • Well, at any rate, apparently they are going to regularize all of these people anyway, and it’s not controversial at all in Argentina. A lot of them are mestizos. Mestizos are quite common in Argentina, especially in the Pampas and in the mountains of the northwest and west.

      • jorge

        Where Amerindians and very mixed whites (who are part of mestizos here -the others are very mixed Amerindians-) are most common is in the north of the country. Where less common are in fact is the Pampean region, but today are quite common in biggest cities of that region (Buenos Aires, Rosario, Santa Fe, Parana, Mar del Plata…), but in many little cities also are many.

      • TRASH

        You mentioned being of part French-Canadian ancestry.

        There is an even greater possibility of being partly Native American if your family is from Quebec.

  2. S.D.

    Argentinians are Spanish and heavily Cambrian Italian. It is the most Italian place in the Americas in fact.

    They are no more likely to have Indian-and probably less because they are recent European arrivals-than the average white American from old Yankee stock.

    There are small pockets of Amerindian communities down there but not terribly many.

    • 50% of Argentine Whites have Indian blood, but they typically don’t have much. If you have a significant amount, then I suppose you are a mestizo. Mestizos are a lot more common than you think. Most of the gaucho types on the Pampas are mestizos and there are many mestizos in the wine-growing regions in the West like Mendoza and in the mountainous northwest, where there are actually quite a few Indians left. I believe there are 100,000-200,000 Indians left in Argentina.

      I had an Argentine gf once who was Spanish, German and Italian. She looked like an Italian woman. She told me that she also probably had a bit of Amerindian in her, but she acted like this is no big deal.

      I wonder what % of US Whites have Indian blood? I tell you what. If you can trace your line all the way back to the Mayflower or even the US pre-1700, you are very likely to have Indian blood. My family goes back to the Mayflower and then the First Families of Virginia. Anyone who was there pre-1700 is a member, and if you are one of the First Families of Virginia, there is a 50% chance that you are related to Pocohontas. Pocohontas had a daughter, and that daughter went on to have ~14 children by White men, often different ones.

      They always said that the Browns had Indian blood. My mother said she had seen old pictures of them. People always said they were rather dark0skinned for White people, and my Mom said that in the photos, they did look rather dark.

      My family also has two “Almost killed by Indians, but tricked the Indians into sparing their lives” stories about our ancestors. I am starting to wonder if these stories are true or if they are some sort of urban legend. One of my ancestors was taken prisoner by Indians in Virginia and then he became a member of the tribe and lived as an Indian for a decade or so. Stories like that are not as rare as you think.

      • Jason Y

        Why is it in the USA south having Amerindian ancestors is a thing of pride, but having some that are black is shameful? Of course, in Latin America, among the whites, Amerindians are viewed as dirty and nobody brags about Amerindian blood.

        • Tulio

          I’m not sure that’s just a USA south thing. I think that’s pretty much ALL whites. And I think given the history of the one drop rule, slavery and a racial caste system, it’s no surprise anyone that passed for white but had even some negligible black ancestry would not be so forthright about it. It’s a good example of the history influencing the culture.

        • EPGAH

          They only brag about it when they can get social or political advantage.
          Take Elizabeth Warren gaming the Affirmative Action system with her alleged 1/32 Indian blood.

          But earlier there was someone writing that most white trash in America had Indian blood!

  3. S.D.

    The first Amerindian Mestizo baby was apparently born in a Viking colony of Scotland circa Eric the Red according to DNA tests.

    One or two squaw got on the long-ships with the Norse in Eastern Canada and were very pregnant by the time they got off.

  4. S.D.

    Some pregnant squaws were impregnated on Viking long ships long before then and this DNA shows up around a former Viking colony in Western Scotland.

    • GulliverFredrich

      Not really, the Vikings got their ass handed them by the Skraelings/Native Americans when they first met. Those supposed Amerindian genes probably date back to Neolithic European times….

      • EPGAH

        They traded with the Skraeling savages before the savages betrayed them and massacred them all down to the last man–which if you read the Skraeling Sagas, the last man was a WOMAN, a PREGNANT WOMAN!

        That alone should dispel the “Noble Savage” idea, but this stupidity keeps popping up, somehow the savages were innocent victims, and the Civilized World clubbed them like baby seals. Cue Sad Music

        If you believe that, I need to sell you a lot of bridges!

  5. S.D.

    Yes, but subsequently there was some small amount of trading with Micmac Indians and a very few female Native Americans accompanied the Norse to Iceland. Icelandic DNA indicates about 2.5% matriarchal Amerindian. That’s more than one Amerindian female.

    This was isolated but technically the first Mestizo was born in Iceland or Scotland in Europe.

    At least one female Amerindian accompanied the Norse to Scotland and bore a Mestizo child.

  6. S.D.

    The Vikings managed to hold on to Newfoundland for one year and Greenland for several centuries.

    Norse records and DNA clearly indicate that a few Micmac women returned to Iceland with Norseman and bore children to them.

    Icelanders are approximately 2.5%-5% Amerindian and there DNA indicates one Native American woman did actually return to Western Scotland and bear the first Mestizo child there.

  7. jorge

    Hello, I’m from Argentina, and it’s true that here the people have more Amerindian blood that everybody thinks. Like 54%-60% have, at least, one relatively recent Amerindian ancestor.

    About the mongrel issue, I consider people of one race of another, not a mix. It’s true that there is people very “mixed” by the way, but always there is a prevalence of some particular race, at least in phenotype.

    Made the clarification, I think that in Argentina there are an 75,7% of whites, 23% of Amerindians, 1% of blacks and 0,3% of Mongoloids (and maybe some isolated Australoids).

    “Pure” whites are like 40% of population (descendants of European immigrants from late 19th century or 20th century, usually second or third generation). The rest of whites are much more “mixed”, mainly with Amerindians.

    Amerindians usually are very “mixed”. Most of them have much white ancestry and, some, even a relevant (but much lesser) black ancestry. “Pure” Amerindians maybe are 4% of total population.

    Also there is a relevant part of population with black ancestry, but is much lesser than Amerindian ancestry, and most part of people with black ancestry, usually also have white/Amerindian ancestry and it’s higher. Blacks are 1%, and Argentine blacks usually have much white/Amerindian ancestry. “Pure” blacks are an extremely irrelevant percentage and usually are immigrants from Senegal, and, less, from another African countries. Black immigrants from the Americas usually are less “pure” than African ones. Even Haitians.

    Culturally, Argentina it’s a “mestizo” country. A mix of European (mainly Spanish and Italian with some relevant minorities as Germans, Polish, Ukrainians, Russians and French), indigenous (mainy from Guarani, Quechua, Kolla, Mapuche, Qom and Calchaqui nations) and, less, African cultures (mainly from slaves of the region of Angola).

    Pampean region (englobes Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Entre Rios, La Pampa and Santa Fe provinces) is the most populated and also the whitest of the country. Into this region there are important cities as Buenos Aires (a city surrounded by Buenos Aires province but not into it because it’s a federal district and don’t belong to any province, and is the biggest Argentine city, by far), Cordoba (capital of Cordoba province), Rosario (biggest city of Santa Fe province), La Plata (capital of Buenos Aires province), Mar del Plata, Santa Fe (capital of Santa Fe province and second biggest city of it), Bahia Blanca, Parana (capital of Entre Rios province), etc. But, in fact, in the main cities (Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Rosario) there are much more Amerindians than in small cities because immigration. The same in Santa Fe. Immigrants made that metropolitan areas that surrounding this cities grew up much, especially in the case of Buenos Aires, where it metropolitan area that surround it (and belong to Buenos Aires provinces) it is conformed by like 100 cities and, since mid of 20th century (when European immigration still arrived), it’s bigger than the city itself (city of Buenos Aires have almost 3 million of inhabitants since 25 years, while it metropolitan area, called Gran Buenos Aires, grows constantly and now have like 10.5 million of inhabitants). Culturally, this region (except Cordoba) it’s almost equal to Uruguay.

    But Amerindian or very mixed white immigrants start to arrived to those cities in the 40s, and, until 70s, were Argentines from northwest and northeast. In the 70s started the big Paraguayan, Bolivian and Peruvian immigration (three main foreign nationalities). In a second order, Chileans, and, behind them, Brazilians (mainly “pure” whites from the south) and Uruguayans (whites too, it’s the whitest country maybe in the whole Americas, more than Canada and United States).

    The Paragonia is the more uninhabited region of the country (whose cities are the smallest compared to all other regions, although are growing fast with the industrialization of the region in the last 10 years), and it’s mainly white but with a bigger percentage of Amerindians than the Pampean region. And, with that recently industrialization that I said, now recieve many immigrants from the north and from Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay.

    Cuyo (name of a region in the west that englobes Mendoza, San Luis and San Juan provinces) have more Amerindians (and “very-mixed-whites”) than Patagonia.

    Then there is northeast, where I live, where Amerindians and mixed white population is even bigger. But in many areas of Misiones and Chaco provinces there are many descendants of German, Polish and Ukrainians, who usually are “pure” because their custom of form families only with people with their same nationality (or with parents of the same nationality). Even, in the past, many did not want to mix with whites from another European origins, specially with Italian and Spaniards and, in the case of Germans, also not with Polish. But this custom slowly decreased decade by decade, especially since 80s. Now it can see many dark-whites (or mixed whites) with German surnames for example. Culturally, this region is similar to Paraguay. Have a high Guarani influence into culture (even there are many Guarani speakers in Corrientes and Misiones, even in Misiones there are like 80 Guarani indigenous villages) and, in the west of the region, Qom culture (with many Qom villages, and some Wichi). Main cities: Resistencia (capital of Chaco province), Corrientes (capital of Corrientes province), Posadas (where I live, capital of Misiones province) and Formosa (capital of formosa province).

    And then is the northwest, to most Amerindian region of the country. Englobes Catamarca, Jujuy, La Rioja, Salta, Santiago del Estero and Tucuman provinces. It’s similar to Bolivia. There are Quechua speakers, and Wichi and Calchaqui villages. It main cities are San Miguel de Tucuman (capital of Tucuman province), Salta (capital of Salta province), San Salvador de Jujuy (capital of Jujuy province) and Santiago del Estero (capital of Santiago del Estero province).

    • Narselvam

      How are people with higher Amerindian blood viewed in Argentina? I heard somewhere that de facto caste system exists in Argentina with white people with less amerindian blood at the top and as in anywhere Blacks are at the bottom.

      • jorge

        Obviously whites are in top of social scale. When higher is the social class, bigger is percentage of whites. This is common in all the Americas (included United States and Canada obviously). But here (Argentina) definitely Amerindians are in a lower scale than blacks. Especially those Amerindians that preserve their cultural heritage and live in indigenous communities. At least today there is a bigger view of solidarity with them than in the past, but still many see them as gross and savages. Or there are typical comments that are very racist, like, for example, a mother saying to her little son “don’t run barefoot, don’t be an Indian”, or, if you write with orthographic failures, maybe someone will say you “you write like an Indian”… Things like this.

        Racism in Argentina is much more mixed with discrimination for cultural reasons that in other places. Most part of Amerindians don’t have conscience about their race. Even, Amerindian is not seen as a race, if you don’t live into some indigenous community, you don’t will be considered Amerindian, when whites and blacks don’t need to being part of some European/African culture for being considered part of their races. It’s a educational problem. Or almost all people don’t know that have some indigenous ancestors, and think that their ancestors are only Europeans. But the truth is that almost no one think in racial questions. Everybody knows about whites, blacks and Mongoloids because television, but not more. If you ask to a Amerindian person (who is not part of some indigenous nation) what race consider himself, probably they will get confused, while a white person at least will respond “white” (the same with a black).

        And I think that here is bigger discrimination for social status and cultural reasons than pure racism. Obviously Amerindian phenotypes are associated with lower social classes in mind of people, and indigenous cultures are seen as lower than European cultures. But if a blond person is part of underclass (and dress and act like many of it same social level), will be much more discriminated than a dark-white or an Amerindian from middle class.

        And places where there are most problems with indigenous are precisely provinces like Salta (in the northwest) and Formosa (in the northeast), especially in little cities with some indigenous population or near to some indigenous villages (usually from Qom or Wichi nations). For example, they are treated in hospitals always at last, or police molest them, etc. And many people who discriminate them also are Amerindians, but were raised into Argentina “mestizo” culture, and don’t feel connection with indigenous cultures (and even don’t know that their ancestors were part of those cultures), even when some things of culture of this regions (that are part of Argentine culture obviously) come from indigenous cultures. In the case of Salta, I talk about the east of the province, because in the west the indigenous population it’s more adapted to regional culture and even are majority in many little cities, and those indigenous are from another nations (Kollas, Quechuas, etc.) who were more “advanced” that Wichis or Qom because, before European invasion, developed more technology, even Quechuas (wrongly called “incas”, when “inca” was the title of Quechua emperor, in the same way that ancient Egyptians had a pharaoh) originally were from Peru and conformed the biggest empire of South America, dominating and influencing many peoples from Andean region (Kollas, Aymaras, Calchaquis, etc.) of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, half north of Chile and half north of western Argentina.

        Instead, Wichis and Qom were hunter-gatherers. Today they develop some level of agriculture and cattle raising because sometimes they have no choice. Environment where they hunt and fishing are being destroyed by landowners, who usually also destroy indigenous communities or obligate indigenous to work for them (always in quasi slavery). This is why many indigenous abandon their communities and go to live in towns and cities, sometimes in streets (being homeless) or forming shanty towns. And sons of indigenous that go to live in cities and towns, usually lost their culture, and their descendants become marginal that don’t have conscience about their race nor cultural origin.

        Here (Misiones), Guaranies are less pressured, but some of them also come to cities because cultural influence. They wanna dress like “westerners” for example, or leave their traditional way of life and adopt consumerism, looking for money instead of hunt, fishing, gather, sow and raise poultry and pigs in their lands (their villages are little rural communities, but not in farmlands, but into jungle).

  8. S.D.

    Buenos Ares the most Italian place outside of Italy, I am quite sure. Many pure Italian people from the Naples region live there.

    The Mestizo blood in Argentina is far less than say, Central America or Mexico.

    I’ve never met a black Argentinian.

    • jorge

      Well, this is obvious. Argentine maybe is the fourth whitest country of the Americas (behind Uruguay, Canada and United States).

      And blacks here are 1%, and are very mixed (maybe you will consider them mongrels, “mulattoes”), except some recent African immigrants, who are few.

      And most part of those who are called “mestizos” really are just Amerindians with a relevant percentage of ancestry from another race (white in almost all cases). In this case, Argentina maybe have an 20%-23% of Amerindians, while whites are like 75%-77%. Bute “pure” whites are like 40%, while the rest (35%-37%) have various levels of relevant ancestry from another races (usually Amerindian and, some, black). And “pure” Amerindians are like 4%.

      Blacks aren’t pure, except those recent African immigrants that I said (mainly from Senegal), who are few. Argentina blacks always have much ancestry from another races (white and Amerindian).

  9. S.D.

    What is interesting is that the United States does not really have an Amerindian caste system.

    If you are part Native American and part Anglo-Saxon, it does not seem to make much of a difference (Palin’s husband was one-quarter Aleut).

    Cherokee and Chippewa are not really much of a threat either. They work in casinos or are tribal lawyers or simply do not work at all. Few of them form gangs of any national concern, unlike the Mestizo and Central American Indians.

    Unless a European-American hung around some bar on a reservation looking for trouble, he’d probably never have a single encounter with a Native American.

    First Nations in Canada are a social problem to a greater degree, there is no question about that.

    But they too, do not show up in the United States.

    They get drunk and mug people at night in Northern Quebec somewhere. Tensions between whites and reds in Canada is greater, no doubt about that.

    The question remains why Central America and South America have such a brutal caste system or why their Indians and Mestizos prove so problematic on U.S. streets.

  10. Barack Thatcher

    I was under the impression there were two hotspots for these issues;
    1. Central Americans going North to Mexico (maybe to eventually come here?)
    2. Bolivians facing bad agricultural seasons temporarily migrating to Argentina.

    • Barack Thatcher

      and of course the DominicanTs and Haitians….

    • jorge

      Argentina receives many illegal immigrants from Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru. In the past, also receives some illegal ones from Brazil, that were a relatively small number, but relevant for the province where they went (province of Misiones, that had a small population in those times).

      Also there are some illegal immigrants from Chile, but much less than those from the three main countries from where immigrants come here. I think that most part of Chilean immigrants are legal

      Also there are some few African illegal immigrants that comes in ships, but are a few, usually they come from countries with civil wars and they climb to any ship that goes to some place, but usually are deceived with the idea that the ships go to North America or Europe, and ends in some Argentine port. But are a few.

      And Bolivians, Paraguayans and Peruvians migrate to Argentina because of poverty or the desire of grow up in economic terms, not due to bad agricultural seasons. People from this countries also migrate to Brazil and, in case of Bolivians and Peruvians, also to Chile. I don’t know how much this countries control their borders, but probably there are many more illegal immigrants in Brazil than in Chile.

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