Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-30-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Miguel Centellas

Second Advisor

Oliver Dinius

Third Advisor

Susan H. Allen

Relational Format



Historically, countries often faced the difficult task of favoring one immigrant group over another. Typically, this is in response to their inability to support those immigrants due to an unstable economy. However, some scholars argue that during times of economic prosperity, excluding immigrants may be the result of the group’s incapacity to assimilate to the nation’s “cultural identity”. Since Chile’s conception as a nation and as one of the most prosperous Latin American countries, they have received notably minuscule immigration rates. As a result, Chileans prides themselves as a relatively homogeneous country. Consequently, in 2018, President Sebastián Piñera differentiated visas between Venezuelan and Haitian immigrants. The Venezuelan visa merely reiterated the general immigration requirements, while the Haitian visa significantly restricted their immigration visa. Because Haitian immigrants make up 6th largest immigrant population in Chile and maintained a low economic dependence upon the economy, this case study sought to determine whether an economic approach or “cultural identity” theory resulted in stricter immigration policies. Using a mixed research design of quantitative and qualitative analysis, the findings revealed that Chileans opinions increased negatively with the influx of immigrants, that did not coincide with the perception of their economic security. Therefore, I assess that the “cultural identity” theory is more consistent with creating stricter visa requirements for Haitian immigrants.

Accessibility Status

Searchable text



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.