Americas Migration Brief - January 1, 2024
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Table of Contents
Integration and Development
An El Barómetro report explores social media discussion surrounding migration in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru during 2023.
“Some media publications in Peru and Chile tend to negatively present the Venezuelan diaspora, revealing trends of hate and discrimination,” finds Cazadores de Fake News.
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
“The National Housing Fund has announced a housing subsidy for Venezuelan migrants living in Bogotá,” reports RCN, noting that the program “seeks to benefit more than five hundred thousand people.”
The state of Minas Gerais has passed a State Policy for the Migrant Population aimed at improving migrant reception and integration, including promoting labor inclusion and “Speed in issuing documents and revalidating undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas.” (press release)
Brazil’s renowned universal public health care system has struggled with capacity to respond to the high number of Venezuelan migrants arriving to the country with serious health issues, particularly in the border state of Roraima, according to a multi-part Frontera Sur investigation, as cited by TalCual.
An R4V report explores lessons learned and recommendations for promoting education and skills training for Indigenous Venezuelans in Brazil.
Nearly 30% of migrants in Mexico reported being discriminated against, according to the 2022 National Discrimination Survey, reports El Demócrata, adding that a 2023 IOM study in the cities of Monterrey, Oaxaca, and Puebla found that 7 in 10 reported discrimination.
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidadian authorities are concerned “about the increasing visibility of local and migrant children on the streets either begging by themselves or accompanying adults to do the same,” says Guardian, with the trend—associated with concerns about abuse—generating controversies and numerous articles in recent weeks. NGOs have been asked to help.
A considered regularization program in Canada should be “simple and straightforward. Excessive and unreasonable bureaucratic hurdles divert time, money and energy away from resolving cases, and bar access to the program for a vulnerable population… The scope of the program should be broad, aiming to encompass the diverse array of people who lack status,” write Audrey Macklin, Naomi Alboim, and Anna Triandafyllidou at Globe and Mail. (see last week’s AMB)
Asylum, Protection, and Human Rights
A woman and young child died in a shipwreck while attempting to migrate by sea from Colombia’s San Andrés island to Nicaragua en route to the US. (Efecto Cocuyo)
Aruba has announced that it will not grant asylum to Venezuelans attempting to enter the country by sea. (El Carabobeño)
“Deputy María de Jesús Páez Güereca (PT) presented a bill that modifies article 112 of the Migration Law, in order to establish that ‘at all times’ respect for the human rights of girls, boys and adolescents will be guaranteed” and that “the National Migration Institute (INM) must immediately send minors to the National DIF System or its equivalent in the different federal entities, municipalities or territorial demarcations,” reports Talla Política.
A formal complaint has been lodged over the “mysterious death” of a Cuban migrant in National Migration Institute (INM) custody last November, reports Periódico Cubano.
“The number of people recognized as refugees in the country increases by 29%. More than 200 people were recognized as refugees this year.” (AGN)
Canada has “announced a new family-based humanitarian pathway for Sudanese and non-Sudanese nationals who resided in Sudan when the conflict began on April 15, 2023, so they can reunite on a permanent basis with their family in Canada.” (press release)
🇺🇸 United States
“The Biden administration on Thursday warned Texas that it will sue the state if it implements a strict immigration law known as SB4 that would empower state and local law enforcement officials to arrest, jail and prosecute migrants suspected of entering the U.S. unlawfully. The Justice Department said it would file a lawsuit against SB4 if Texas did not assure federal officials by Jan. 3 that the state would refrain from enforcing the law as planned in March,” reports CBS. (see last week’s AMB)
In two articles, the New York Times explores unaccompanied minor migration, where this population is distributed across the US, and their participation in the workforce and dangerous jobs; as well as the lack of success by private auditors to detect and curtail child labor.
Migratory Institutions and Regional and Bilateral Cooperation
Following high-level US-Mexico talks on migration last week, both countries agreed to meet again in January 2024 and “reaffirmed their existing commitments on fostering an orderly, humane, and regular migration. This includes reinforcing our partnership to address the root causes of migration, such as poverty, inequality, and violence, and for the two countries’ initiative for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans. Ongoing cooperation also includes enhanced efforts to disrupt human smuggling, trafficking, and criminal networks, and continuing the work to promote legal instead of irregular migration pathways. Also, both delegations agreed on the importance of maintaining and facilitating the vital bilateral trade at our shared border.” (joint communique)
The Hill and El Universal say that the joint communique initially included “democratic decline” as a root cause of migration, but the phrase was later removed from the published text; “The Mexican version did not include the phrase but was otherwise an exact translation using the agreed-upon language.”
El Economista looks at trends in migration in Mexico in 2023, highlighting changes in US temporary labor migration programs and the increasing skills-oriented selectivity of labor migration programs across the globe.
Migrants in Transit
Euronews highlights Latin American migration to Spain and Europe.
The Honduran Congress has not re-extended the fine amnesty for migrants in transit through the country, but the National Migration Institute has announced that “it will not impose administrative sanctions on the flows of foreign migrants entering the country, who will also be granted a special permit to remain in the national territory for up to ten days.” (DW)
Canada is looking to expand Indigenous mobility rights, including exploring “options to amend Canada’s right of entry provision, and work and study permit requirements,” reports Canada Immigration News, explaining, “Canada – unlike its Southern neighbor – does not recognize the Jay’s Treaty, which allows American Indians to move across borders freely. Indigenous people with Indian status (50% American Indian blood) can thus freely travel from Canada to the US to work, live, and study, but not vice versa.”
🇺🇸 United States
The Inter-American Dialogue’s Manuel Orozco estimates that more than 115,000 Nicaraguans emigrated in 2023—less than 40,000 of whom went to Costa Rica—and that a further 120,000 will leave the country in 2024, reports Confidencial.
MSF highlights transit migration entering and exiting Peru through Tumbes.
Borders and Enforcement
Venezuela, Aruba, and Curaçao will bolster their enforcement against maritime migration, reports Radio Noticias.
A boat with 34 Venezuelans en route to Curaçao was intercepted last week. (Crónicas del Caribe)
“Mexico's government has restarted repatriation flights of Venezuelans, it said on Saturday, two days after officials agreed to work more closely with their U.S. counterparts to tackle record migration at their shared border,” reports Reuters.
At least 329 Venezuelans were repatriated on Saturday. (El Pitazo)
Around 60-70% of Chile’s nearly 6,000 deportations in 2023 were of Venezuleans, according to the head of the National Migration Service, adding that irregular entries dropped between 2022 and 2023. (BioBioChile)
An estimated 1,625,074 migrants live in Chile, as of the end of 2022, according to government agencies. José Tomás Vicuña summarizes findings on Twitter, noting that nearly a third are Venezuelan, followed by 15% Peruvian, 12% Colombian, 11% Haitian, and 9% Bolivian.
An estimated 90% are either in a regular status or in the process of regularization, per officials, reports Meganoticias.
More on Migration
An open access Universidad San Francisco de Quito journal explores migration across Latin America in a series of articles.
“Third-Country Effects of U.S. Immigration Policy” (Bank of Canada)
Make sure you didn’t miss last week’s weekly AMB brief amid the holidays!
Leiza Brumat and Diego Acosta consider in Latinoamérica21 potential avenues for Milei’s migration policy, noting the risk of a securitized policy or withdrawl from international organizations.