Latin American migrations to the Iberian Peninsula have experienced significant growth over the past two decades. In this context, the Spanish and Portuguese states have implemented policies that build the Latin American immigrant as an exceptional foreigner, highlighting an alleged cultural compatibility that guarantees better social integration into the host society. The differentiated political and legal treatment towards this population connects with a discourse that emphasizes the importance of historical and cultural links between Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula over five centuries. Based in decolonial thought, this piece comparatively analyzes the development of this political-legal discourse in Spain and Portugal over the last twenty years, paying particular attention to their concrete manifestations in laws and public policy, accounting for to the occasions when it has been adopted, maintained and abandoned according to the circumstances.
coloniality; immigration; Latin America; migration policy