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Americas Migration Brief - August 21, 2023
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Table of Contents
Integration and Development
“74% of Mexican society is in an ambivalent sector, that is, it does not have a position for or against migration,” reports SwissInfo, covering a new Oxfam report that finds that “Mexico's migration policies, focused on the repression, containment and deportation of migrant individuals, have influenced the orientation of public discourse towards narratives of a racist, classist and xenophobic nature.”
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has helped launch the second Resource Center for Migrant Workers (CRTM) in Mexico which helps facilitate access to employment for immigrants in the country. The current two centers are in Tijuana and Cancún. (Diario Rotativo)
New regulations for permanent residency in Uruguay have “left about 10,000 Cubans in migratory limbo in the country,” reports Al Jazeera.
UNHCR and the Peruvian Migration Superintendency have signed an agreement to collaborate to provide services that should assist at least 14,800 migrants in the country to regularize their status. (press release)
La Silla Vacía highlights the important role of the private sector in the economic integration of migrants and returnees in Colombia, noting studies that show companies to be interested in the issue but not actually taking action.
“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has fueled economic growth and plugged gaps in the labor market by ramping up immigration, but now new arrivals are straining public services and contributing to an overheating economy” due to a lack of “infrastructure investment for ‘transit, housing, healthcare... schools,’” reports Reuters.
“The life of a Venezuelan migrant in Curaçao is not easy. Cultural and linguistic differences and the lack of a formal pathway to obtain work and residence permits or Dutch citizenship means the state’s migrant population live in constant fear of being deported,” says IOM.
Asylum, Protection, and Human Rights
Colombia has issued a two year renewal for the “Primero la Niñez” program that helps children of Venezuelans in Colombia avoid statelessness by obtaining Colombian citizenship. In 4 years, the program has helped avoid over 100,000 potential cases of statelessness. (press release, read more about the program here)
“Almost half of the internally displaced persons in Haiti’s capital have had to leave their temporary accommodations in host communities and now reside in vulnerable conditions in improvised sites, nearly doubling the figure from the end of 2022,” notes IOM.
🇺🇸 United States
Uncovering an internal report on conditions in ICE detention centers that both the Trump and Biden administrations attempted to block from public access, NPR details “barbaric” and “negligent” conditions and findings that include that “The most consistent — and sometimes deadly — problems relate to medical and mental health care.”
Amid 100+ degree heat in Arizona, Border Patrol is keeping asylum seekers detained “outdoors in a chain-link enclosure,” reports The Border Chronicle, highlighting protests from locals.
“39,000 Cubans, more than 60,000 Haitians, 27,000 Nicaraguans and more than 55,000 Venezuelans” have entered the US through humanitarian parole, reports VOA.
The US has redesignated Sudan for temporary protected status (TPS) and extended the status for a further 18 months. (press release)
“Immigration activists are asking the Biden administration to redesignate temporary protection status for Nicaraguans and Venezuelans,” reports CBS.
Mauritanians seeking protection from anti-Black discrimination in their home country are increasingly seeking asylum in the US, taking a multi-continent journey that enters the Americas through Nicaragua. (AP)
WOLA’s Adam Isacson highlights stories related to the US-Mexico border and human rights at the Beyond the Wall weekly update, explaining that the “death of three-year-old Venezuelan girl draws fresh attention to Texas state government crackdown” and “‘Operation Lone Star,’ a $9.5 billion series of politicized border security measures.”
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago
“Five days after Venezuelan migrant Juan Manuel Acosta was deported, he returned to Trinidad and Tobago. One of his lawyers, Blaine Sobrian, is now calling on the Commissioner of Police to investigate National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds for crimes against humanity for signing Acosta's deportation order,” notes Newsday, which further explores the case in an editorial. (see also last week’s AMB)
Amnesty International has joined the calls for a halt to deportations of refugees and asylum seekers in Trinidad and Tobago.
Brazilian officials met last week to discuss climate change-related migration in and to the country and what types of protections and public policies should be developed. (SenadoNotícias, DiáriodoLitoral)
Canada has shown greater humanitarian commitment to Ukranians seeking protection than to Afghans or Sudanese, says Rabble.
Migratory Institutions and Regional and Bilateral Cooperation
“The Regional Processing Center (Movilidad Segura) program is also an innovative approach but will require time to roll out. The United States and Colombia have announced three centers in the latter country, alongside centers in Guatemala and Costa Rica. Currently, opportunities are restricted by nationality and arrival dates. The program will need to expand for migrants to see it as a viable pathway. Growing the number of countries taking part and increasing coordination with local governments are opportunities for improvement,” I told the Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin America Advisor last week in a Q&A about regional migration and the Darien Gap.
Mexico’s National Institute of Migration (INM) will be put under the control of the country’s National Guard next month, says Conexión Migrante, although INM officials deny any knowledge of such plans.
🇧🇴🇨🇱 Chile and Bolivia
🇨🇺🇧🇴 Bolivia and Cuba
Bolivian and Cuban officials are meeting to discuss migration between the two countries and how to halt “illegal acts associated with irregular movements,” notes Prensa Latina.
🇨🇺🇺🇸 United States and Cuba
The US is reopening a field office in Cuba to “assist with U.S. immigration benefits and services.” (press release)
🇨🇷🇵🇦 Panama and Costa Rica
Panamanian and Costa Rican officials met to discuss best practices and exchange ideas related to labor migration, particularly in relation to the coffee sector. (En Segundos)
Canadian farms are struggling to recruit qualified migrant labor due to bureaucratic delays and rejections, according to National Post.
Migrants in Transit
More than 400,000 Peruvians left the country during 2022 without returning, four times more than “recent annual estimates,” reports El Comercio, adding that “38,736 registered their address abroad, when in 2021 this figure was 26,272.”
“The entry of migrants into Chile through unauthorized crossings has fallen by 42 percent so far this year compared to the same period in 2022,” reports Prensa Latina.
Bloomberg reports on Venezuelan migration through the Darien Gap, highlighting that few Venezuelans have active passports, challenging their access to humanitarian parole in the US.
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
“Paso Canoas, the main border crossing between Panama and Costa Rica, has become a crossroads for migrants: those with money stay only a few hours in the place and those without see their "American dream" become a "nightmare,”” says France24, additionally noting complaints from Costa Rican residents of the binational town “about the dirt and insecurity generated by the presence of migrants.”
Costa Rican protestors temporarily closed the border last week. (Crítica)
Up to nine flights arrive daily in Nicaragua from Cuba, reports Periódico Cubano, noting most travelers' intentions to head north.
Over 203,000 migrants of various nationalities have crossed from Nicaragua into Honduras so far this year, reports La Prensa.
A new Gallup poll finds that 49% of Colombians want to emigrate, primarily to the US or Spain. (AS)
According to UNHCR, since 2021, an increasing number of Colombians have been displaced to Ecuador, reports Extra.
The New Humanitarian reports on increasing violence and insecurity in Ecuador, explaining that it has caused many to look to emigrate and that it has also disproportionately affected migrants in the country.
🇺🇸 United States
“The number of migrant families apprehended at the U.S. southern border nearly doubled from June to July,” reports Washington Post.
Meanwhile, “The Biden administration is asking Congress to approve a temporary housing program for migrant families that illegally cross the southern border — a plan that would give them more freedom than traditional detention,” reports Axios.
The use of “Parole-in-Place” could help increase accessibility of family reunification programs for those that might otherwise be subject to a 3- or 10-year ban, notes Immigration Impact.
Borders and Enforcement
Mayors from northern Chile are calling for a renewal of the critical infrastructure plan that has allowed for the militarization and increased enforcement of Chile’s northern border. (BioBioChile)
Chile has installed new observation posts on its border with Bolivia that “have a 3x thermal zoom camera monitoring system, which makes it possible to detect a person at a distance of up to 3 km.” (ADN)
🇺🇸 United States
The Border Chronicle reports on the “border industrial complex,” highlighting its current presence in Texas.
TRAC breaks down geographic and demographic shifts in Border Patrol apprehensions over recent years.
Brazil is seeing two opposing trends: Brazilians are increasingly leaving for the US, Portugal, and elsewhere; while Brazil receives increasing numbers of refugees. (Infobae)
More on Migration
“Drug cartels are using remittances – money transfers favored by migrant workers – to send illicit earnings back to Mexico,” reports Reuters in a special investigation.
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
“The government of the Dominican Republic has accepted responsibility for failing to allocate farmland promised to Japanese immigrants ahead of their relocation to the Caribbean nation under Japan’s postwar emigration policy, and has started paying an amount equivalent to over ¥20 million per household in compensation,” notes JapanNews.