By the end of April, Chile reached more than 1 million cases of Coranavirus and reported more than 7,000 new COVID-19 cases per day. In response, the Government announced a return to complete lockdown (Phase 1) for most of the country (83 per cent of the population), and a daily curfew was implemented from 9 pm. Despite Chile becoming the world second leader of COVID-19 vaccination administration doses per capita, R4V partners reported that some refugees and migrants from Venezuela were not approaching the health authorities to get vaccinated out of fear of being expelled from the country.
On 11 April, the Government approved a new Migration Law, which addresses a whole range of migration issues, including, inter alia, forms of entry and exit; migratory categories: temporary and permanents permits; political asylum; infringements and penalties; deportation; legal remedies.
The Chilean Police (Carabineros) and the Chilean Judiciary (Poder Judicial) signed an agreement to expedite the protection of children and adolescents who are entering Chile through irregular crossings. Carabineros counted 1,752 such cases between January and March 2021.
On 25 April, 55 Venezuelans were deported from Iquique in the north of the country, on the first private flight of fifteen chartered by the government to depart over the next eight months. This is part of the Colchane Plan, where starting at the end of April, local authorities plan to expel 1,800 foreigners who irregularly entered the country, and reinforce controls at unofficial border crossing points in the north. As a result, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants the UN Committee on Migrant Workers issued a statement expressing concern about the expulsions in Chile.
R4V partners released a study on 29 April whose main objective was to offer a first analysis of Venezuelan students in the Chilean educational system and make visible the challenges to guarantee their inclusion in schools. The study highlighted that it is not a requirement to have a regular status to access the educational system. According to the Ministry of Education, in 2020 30.780 foreign students were enrolled in schools in Chile.