Haitian migrants in Costa Rica seeking passage to U.S. pose as West African to avoid deportation
- The ongoing migration bottleneck in Costa Rica continues to pile up, with 100 to 150 new arrivals each day adding to the 2,500 already stranded in the overwhelmed country.
- The majority of undocumented migrants are Haitian, many coming from Brazil with some posing as West African in an attempt to avoid deportation, deprioritized for those from distant countries because of the high cost.
- Haitians point to ongoing economic destitution in their home country, poor prospects in host countries like Brazil and Ecuador, and what they perceive as a double standard of preferential treatment for certain migrants as motivation for migrating and the tactical deception.
“IOM Reports Growing Number of Irregular Migrants Stranded in Costa Rica” (International Organization for Migration, via ReliefWeb)
“95% de los migrantes irregulares son haitianos ‘disfrazados’ de africanos” (La Nación, in Spanish)
“Flood of ‘Muhammad Alis’ Highlights New Migration Toward U.S.” (Bloomberg)
(Image Credit: José Cordero/La Nación)
Costa Rica looks to deport hundreds of African migrants
- An estimated 600 African migrants have become stranded in the country in an attempt to reach the U.S., and the Costa Rican government is attempting to deport them despite the high costs of repatriation or resettlement in a third country.
- The country is dealing with an ongoing crisis involving thousands of stranded Cubans, who because of border closures have found themselves unable to continue on their trek to the U.S.
- The government has reportedly received around 200 applications for asylum since late March and denied all of them.
“600 US-bound Africans stranded in Costa Rica after officials block route” (The Guardian)
“Deporting 600 migrants back to Africa could be expensive, and impossible” (The Tico Times)
“Deportation Will Be The Final Solution For African Migrants Who Re-enter Costa Rica IllegallyDeportation Will Be The Final Solution For African Migrants Who Re-enter Costa Rica Illegally” (QCostaRica)
(Image Credit: Public Security Ministry, via The Tico Times)
Surge in Cuban emigration spurs resentment in U.S. and bottleneck throughout Central America
- Taking advantage of Cuba’s 2012 removal of exit visas, more than 43,500 Cubans arrived in 2015, a 78% increase over 2014 and nearly six times as many as in 2011.
- Following an airlift of Cuban migrants traveling to the U.S. through Central America stuck at a closed Nicaraguan border, Costa Rica closed its borders to Cuban migrants, trapping thousands across its border with Panama in towns like Paso Canoas and Puerto Obaldia.
- With the reestablishment of U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations, some have begun calling for a revision of the immigration policy that fast-tracks permanent residency for Cuban immigrants over others, including those from violence-riddled Central America.
“Cuban migration to US continues to swell on fears of losing privileges” (AP via The Guardian)
“Bound for U.S., Cuban migrants are stuck in Central America” (CNN)
“Cuban immigrants face resentment in Texas over ‘preferential treatment’” (The Guardian)
(Image Credit: Ilana Panich-Linsman/New York Times/Redux/eyevine, via The Guardian)
Cuban asylum-seekers bound for U.S. stranded in Costa Rica and Panama as Nicaragua refuses entry
- As the influx of Cuban asylum-seekers increases to levels not seen since 1994’s “raft exodus,” more than 6,000 have found themselves stranded in Costa Rica and Panama for the last six weeks after having been refused entry to Nicaragua, whose government is allied with Raúl Castro’s.
- As Costa Rica has reversed its open transit policy for Cuban migrants, the Central American Integration System has arranged a massive airlift to El Salvador, allowing refugees to bypass Nicaragua, although thousands who began their journey in Ecuador are unaccounted for.
- Emigrant Cubans, fearing a revision of the U.S.’s “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy allowing Cubans who land in the U.S. a path to permanent residency, have taken to Central American land routes in addition to well-known routes by sea.
“Central American countries agree airlift of Cuban migrants seeking to enter US” (The Guardian)
“Central American nations announce deal on Cuban migrants” (Miami Herald)
“Costa Rica deports Cubans amid ‘transit crisis’” (Deutsche Welle)
(Image Credit: Marcelino Rosario/EPA, via the Guardian)
Costa Rican president submits bill to legalize same-sex common-law marriages
- The bill would amend the Costa Rican family code to allow for cohabitating same-sex couples who have been partnered for at least three years to meet with a lawyer or judge to apply for a common-law marriage.
- Under common law status, the unions would purportedly provide all of the legal protections of regular marriage, with the residency and duration requirements being the point of difference.
- In June, a judge granted the first common-law marriage to a couple in Goicoechea after slow legislative progress following a 2006 Supreme Court ruling declaring the Constitution does not prohibit same-sex marriage.
Read the full story at the Tico Times.
(Image Credit: Alberto Font/The Tico Times)