If we consider borders as heterogeneous migration management apparatuses, Chile stands out by having strikingly Janus-faced border policies, which are extremely open and tolerant with regard to capital and commodities flows, but closed and almost obsessively exclusionary for allegedly risky immigrants. These bipolar and contradictory policies are especially evident in the North of Chile. On the one hand, this region has been a free trade zone since the mid-1970s. On the other hand, it has been a privileged site for the implementation of security-based border protection plans (such as the so-called Northern Border Plan). These two dimensions of border policies have various consequences on the ground. They reinforce the deportability of migrant workers coming from Bolivia and Peru. Additionally, they enable and at the same time mask the exploitative conditions endured by the noncitizens working in this free trade zone.
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