Will Argentina’s Immigrants Pay the Price for Macri’s Electoral Alliance?

Will Argentina’s Immigrants Pay the Price for Macri’s Electoral Alliance?
Miguel Angel Pichetto, the most senior senator of Argentina’s Justicialist Party, and President Mauricio Macri’s pick as his vice-presidential candidate, in La Plata, March 31, 2016. (Photo by Soledad Aznare for GDA via AP Images)

Facing a competitive reelection campaign, Argentine President Mauricio Macri took an unexpected gamble last month in his choice of a running mate: Miguel Angel Pichetto, an opposition stalwart who has nonetheless helped the government advance critical reforms from his perch as the most senior senator from the Justicialist Party, the main political vehicle for the opposition Peronist movement.

The move was widely praised by analysts. Pichetto is a moderate, so he can help Macri lure Peronists who are anxious about their party’s more populist ticket, which includes the polarizing former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as its vice-presidential candidate.

But Macri’s choice of Pichetto could have implications far beyond the election. In particular, Pichetto has a long record as an immigration skeptic. As vice president, his views could embolden domestic anti-immigration factions even as the region struggles to address the Venezuelan migration crisis.

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