Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich, is a known advocate of a tougher immigration policy in Argentina. Never one to mince her words on the topic, Bullrich has publicly conflated immigration and crime; last week justifying strengthened border control measures on the basis that “crime migrates”.

In a radio interview last Tuesday, Bullrich condemned the migration of Paraguayans and Peruvians to Argentina as “they end up killing each other over drugs”. She further stressed the need to organize relations with Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay as “33% of narcotics-traffickers are from these countries”.

A representative from the Bolivian consul in Argentina has hit back at the politician’s statement, criticizing it as  “stigmatizing foreigners”. Speaking to Radio 10’s “Mañana Sylvestre” Jorge Ramiro Tapia Sainz said the “damaging” remarks perpetuated a false stereotype, and such comments “have tarnished” Bolivia’s reputation.

Mr Sainz was not happy about Bullrich's recent comments - photo via ambito.com
Mr Sainz was not happy about Bullrich’s recent comments – photo via ambito.com

Mr Sainz highlighted the fact that “there’s a murder everyday in Buenos Aires” and the people who commit them “aren’t necessarily related to narco-trafficking”.

Juan Cabandié, National Deputy of the Victory Front (FpV) further cautioned the use of such inflammatory “rhetoric that links immigration and crime”; while National Deputy of the Progressive Front, Margarita Stolbizer pointed out the fact that “the open door policy is enshrined in its (the Argentine) constitution.”

Bullrich’s most recent comments follow on from announcements that the controversial immigration measure – which aims to fast-track the expulsion of foreigners who have committed a crime- is due to be finalized this week by President Macri.