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Argentina - Overview of the current migration policy framework

Argentina has a representative, republican and federal form of democratic government. With a presidential system, the country is comprised of 23 provinces and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires, which is also the capital of the Republic. Legislation arises from the legislative and executive branches, and jurisprudence is limited to the scope of interpretation of legislation in effect. Its judicial system belongs to the Roman-Germanic influx.

On May 1, 1853, the Argentine General Congress enacted the Constitution, which was reformed and approved by the National Convention on September 25, 1860, with reforms in 1866, 1898, 1957, and 1994. The Constitution organises the State and its branches (powers), declares the principles on which it is based, and establishes the rights of its inhabitants. It is a sole law, superior to all the other constitutions and laws.

International treaties: the constitutional reform of 1994, granted constitutional hierarchy to the international treaties ratified by the State, and executed with other nations and international organisations, as well as the concordats with the Holy See.

The hierarchy is explicitly mentioned in Article 75, paragraph 22, of the Argentine national Constitution in the following manner: “Approve or reject treaties executed with other nations and with other international organisations, and the concordats with the Holy See. The treaties and concordats have higher hierarchy than laws. The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, and its Optional Protocol; the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment Prosecute of the Crime of Genocide; the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination; the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatments or Punishments; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; according to their effect, have constitutional hierarchy, do not repeal any article whatsoever of the first part of this Constitution, and are to be construed as complementary to the rights and guarantees acknowledged by it. They can only be denounced, as the case may be, by the National Executive Branch, prior approval by two-thirds majority of the total members of each Chamber. The other treaties and conventions regarding Human Rights, after being approved by Congress, will require the vote of two-thirds majority of the total members of each Chamber to enjoy constitutional hierarchy”. 

National legislation in force: Law 25.871, or the Argentine Migration Act (2004), establishes the country’s new immigration policy, by means of which are stipulated actions in alignment with international commitments of Argentina regarding human rights and economic integration. In addition to guaranteeing respect for the human rights of migrants, this law establishes the rights and obligations of foreigners, their entry and stay, as well as some provisions regarding nationals abroad.

The national executive branch has the authority to issue the instructions and regulations needed for execution of the laws. Decree 616/2010 approved the regulations of Law 25871, establishing the guarantees of acknowledgment and protection of the human rights of migrants regardless of their legal status in the country, seeking a progressive facilitation of legal procedures, and addressing the real needs of foreigners in transit or residing in Argentina.