Buenos Aires Times

argentina FOUR FOREIGNERS ARRESTED

Congress protests spark anti-migrant discourse, calls for deportation

Two Venezuelans, a Paraguayan and a Turkish national were arrested on Wednesday as unionised workers, left-wing groups and everyday citizens protested against the Macri administration's contentious 2019 Budget, which passed a vote in the Lower House later in the evening.

Friday 26 October, 2018
Turkish migrant Anil Baran.
Turkish migrant Anil Baran. Foto:Facebook

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The arrest of four foreign nationals during dramatic protests outside Argentina's Congress on Wednesday have prompted calls for deportation and changes to migration laws.

Two Venezuelans, a Paraguayan and a Turkish national were arrested on Wednesday as unionised workers, left-wing groups and everyday citizens protested against the Macri administration's contentious 2019 Budget, which passed a vote in the Lower House later in the evening.

"I hope the four foreigners (...) are ready at the Immigration Department for their departure from the country", Peronist majority leader in the Senate, Miguel Angel Pichetto, said. "A serious country would act that way", he added. 

Most of Argentina's primetime television programmes on Thursday evening focussed heavily on the issue of immigration, as government ministers declared the men guilty.

"We hope to deport them as soon as possible", Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio said Thursday, calling for an express trial. 

For her part, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said "it is probable" that the foreigners will be "expelled from the country".

"It's not on for them to come to Argentina, where they are received openly but decide to participate in violent activities", Bullrich said, 

TURKISH MAN SPEAKS OUT

One of the four men arrested, Turkish migrant Anil Baran, 27, told Radio Con Vos he was unfairly targeted by police and had nothing to do with Wednesday's protest. 

"I wanted to walk downtown because I don't know the Capital well. I was walking around, relaxedly, until I started to see people. I didn't know there was a protest", Baran, who has lived in Córdoba for the last two years with his Argentine girlfriend, said.

"They started throwing tear gas and shooting plastic (rubber) bullets. I was far away, about 200 meters away, but the gas got to me", he said.

It was at Humberto Primo street where "two policemen on motorbikes grabbed me and they shot me twice in the legs. I said many times I was a foreigner and I wanted to show them my papers but they wouldn't listen to me. They threw me on the ground and tied my up", he recalled.

From there, he was taken to 9 de Julio Avenue and placed in a police vehicle with protesters. Baran says he was kept inside the vehicle for five hours and held overnight and incomunicado in a police cell.

-TIMES

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