Argentina's 'Greater Fatherland'

A country that considers itself European, welcomes South American immigrants.

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    Bolivian immigrants to Argentina carry on the traditions of home

    In La Plata, hundreds of migrants gather together for what they have been waiting for years for - a national ID.
     
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    Lucia Newman on the gap between rich and poor

    One Bolivian in Buenos Aires, the capital city, Franklyn, said: "I came here one year ago. Here we have a future, the possibility to work."

     

    Miguel Ramirez, a Paraguayan, struggling to make a living, picking up rubbish from the streets, said: "Life was very hard for us. Our first home was completely burnt and we lost everything.

     

    "Now the government has given us an ID and this house. We are very grateful. We still continue to pick up garbage but now I can see a way out."

     

    Not happy

     

    Most South Americans that come to Argentina end up living in very poor neighbourhoods, with houses made of wood and tin.

     

    Now the government's programme has helped many to find a better life.

     

    But not everyone is pleased.

     

    In a hospital in La Plata, one Argentinian lady, Susana, said: "I am being treated for cancer and in there I was surrounded by Peruvians and Paraguayans.

     

    "They get everything for free. This is not a rich country. I don't think it's fair."

     

    But the government believes that what they are doing is morally correct.

     

    Julio Alak, La Plata's mayor, said: "We are doing what is right. Having an ID will change people's lives.

     

    "Now they have access to healthcare, education they do not have to be furtive any more. It is a way of giving them protection and rights."

     

    As countries around the world tighten restrictions against immigrants, Argentina has opted to take a different route and opened its doors to workers and protecting immigrants from abuse.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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