Ecuador Moves to Limit Crimes Committed by Foreign Nationals

By Jason Peña on February 7, 2020

This week Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno announced his administration's efforts to expedite the deportations of aliens who have committed crimes in Ecuador.

The shift in immigration enforcement comes after the robbery-attempt-turned-homicide of a 68-year-old Ecuadorian woman in Quito; the suspect was a 19-year-old Venezuelan national, who was wielding a firearm during the commission of the crime.

The incident sparked a series of protests from Ecuadorian citizens demanding that their government enhance its security measures against criminal aliens.

President Moreno urged the legislative chamber to improve Ecuador's Human Mobility Law, which allows foreign nationals to freely enter the South American country of their own volition.

In its current form, the Ecuadorian law does not contain an efficient deportation process for migrants (legal or illegal) who have committed a crime.

Moreno stated the necessity for changing the "Human Mobility Law": "It will allow us to deport foreigners who come to the country to commit crimes or who are found committing crimes."

He continued: "The brothers of the world are always welcome. As for criminals, no. To those who harm our society, to commit murder, to commit crime, or engage in organized crime — no, they are not welcome."

Ecuadorian Assemblyman Hector Munoz also shared his concern about the law: "In a country like ours it's a bit dangerous to have such lax laws."

Moreno has advocated for immigration reform since July of last year.

Some of his introduced measures include the immediate deportation of a migrant once their criminal sentence has been completed. Another is rejecting foreigners who have a criminal history or who have legal action pending.

Moreno's administration has initiated efforts to identify the immigration status of non-citizens and any suspected crimes they have committed to reduce future instances of crime.