Discover more from Americas Migration Brief
Americas Migration Brief - July 17, 2023
Welcome to the Americas Migration Brief! If you find this newsletter useful, please consider sharing with a friend or colleague.
Se puede acceder aquí a una versión en español del boletín traducida por inteligencia artificial.
Consulte aqui uma versão em português do boletim traduzida por inteligência artificial.
Table of Contents
Integration and Development
“Passing supportive regulation is key for enabling financial inclusion of migrants and refugees,” writes UNHCR, exploring the topic of financial inclusion and arguing that financial service providers and governments should work to bridge gaps, pointing to examples in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil.
Migrant fairs require strong planning and organization, ample investment, and a diversity of what is on offer (such as job opportunities, financial education assistance, safe spaces for kids, etc.), says El Espectador.
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago
The Trinidadian government has announced that they will “integrate migrant children into the primary school education system in the new academic year,” a move which has received praise from the international community. (Loop, Gleaner)
Panama has created a two-year temporary regularization program for irregular migrants of any nationality that have been in the country for at least one year, among other requirements. The permit costs $500 for adults and $250 for minors, in addition to other charges that amount to up to $450 more in further fees. (Gaceta Oficial, Efecto Cocuyo, El Pitazo)
A Brazilian court has ordered the National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples (Funai) to implement policy to help receive Indigenous Warao and E'ñepá Venezuelan migrants, reports Roraima1.
A new CIES and PUCP report explores the experiences of urban living in Metropolitan Lima for Venezuelan migrants and refugees, diving into topics such as housing costs, discriminatory practices, employment, and segregation.
A UNHCR-SJM monitoring report surveys at temporary housing collectives in Lima.
A new IOM report explores the experiences LGBT Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Peru, finding that 15% reported health problems without receiving medical attention.
BBC highlights difficulties in accessing regularization among Venezuelans in Colombia, arguing that the Petro administration has sidelined the migration agenda.
Bucaramanga is seeing increasing xenophobic narratives, says Barómetro de Xenofobia on Twitter, expressing concern.
Colombia’s Congress is hosting workshops to explore expanding title validation opportunities for Venezuelan doctors, but the Colombian Medical College is criticizing the potential move. (Kienyke)
A new ELRHA study seeks “to understand the impact of COVID-19 public health measures and other policies on Venezuelan migrants' access to health services.
IOM has published a DTM survey on permanency of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Yopal, Casanare, finding that 92% of working respondents were in the informal sector, among other findings.
51% of surveyed migrant women in Argentina report feeling “violence or discrimination because of their nationality,” reports Infobae.
There were an estimated 198,266 child and adolescent immigrants in Chile in 2021, 36% of whom were Venezuelans, followed by Peruvians (15%) and Colombians (13%), according to a new UNICEF and INE report. (press release)
“Canada will ease its pathway to permanent residency for Hongkongers by removing all educational requirements for those who have worked in the country for a year following an outcry by some applicants that the previous youth-focused policy was unfair to immigrants who had long since left university.” (SCMP)
Nova Scotia “excludes migrant workers from public health insurance, leaving them vulnerable,” reports New Canadian Media.
Asylum, Protection, and Human Rights
The last week saw several stories of migrants dying, including while in transit in Nicaragua and Mexico and in US custody (the fourth such death of a migrant child this year). (La Vanguardia, El Heraldo, CBS)
Norwegian Refugee Council published a “snapshot of Latin American legal protection frameworks,” identifying “Lengthy Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedures and overall absence of accessible legal migration pathways [and] Denial of work opportunities to those undergoing RSD,” among other findings.
🇨🇼🇦🇼 Aruba and Curaçao
Chile’s new migration policy (see last week’s AMB) includes a new “Complementary Protection” migratory status, notes InfoMigra, explaining, “it has been proposed to sign during the second semester of 2023 a decree that sets out in detail the procedure and criteria for the granting of this status together with a Permanent Residence permit to whom it is granted.”
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago
🇺🇸 United States
A new USCRI report explores “latest trends in climate-related displacement (and) discusses the lack of domestic and international protections for climate displaced persons and how some states are beginning to act with varying degrees of success,” providing recommendations for US action, including creating a “dedicated climate-specific protection and resettlement pathway.”
“The U visa was established in 2000 as a tool for reducing barriers to cooperation between immigrants and law enforcement by providing a pathway to status for victims of crime who help in a police investigation,” explains Austin Kocher at his Substack, highlighting U Visa backlogs and obstacles such as uncooperative law enforcement.
WOLA’s Adam Isacson highlights stories related to the US-Mexico border and human rights at the Beyond the Wall weekly update, noting criticisms that “In Eagle Pass, Texas, a site of frequent migrant drownings, Texas’s hardline state government is experimenting with a “wall” of floating buoys in the middle of the river to block would-be migrants.”
“Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena said her country has formally complained to US authorities about the barrier plan,” reports DW.
Canada “has launched a new immigration program for Ukrainians fleeing their embattled country, allowing those in Canada with family to receive permanent resident status,” with the program set to begin in October of this year. A previous program that expired this weekend provided temporary work and stay status for three years. (CBC)
Migratory Institutions and Regional and Bilateral Cooperation
A joint declaration from the Andean Parliament and Central American Parliament calls for their member countries to “Advance in a regional plan on human mobility, promote the creation of a common fund to respond to migrations, create a large database on migrations, facilitate the recognition of university degrees, promote policies for inclusion, fight against statelessness… and guarantee the rights of migrants.” (El Espectador)
Delegations from Argentina, Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and the US attended Los Angeles Declaration-related meetings in Quito last week alongside multilaterals to work towards safe, regular, and orderly migration, reports SwissInfo.
Catherine Osborn at the Foreign Policy Latin America Brief covers Caricom’s announced plan to expand free movement (see last week’s AMB), writing, “CARICOM’s announcement is noteworthy at a time when some other countries in the Western hemisphere are taking steps to restrict migration.”
A group of Cubans protested in Costa Rica last week, calling for Cubans to be included in the current pilot phase of the Movilidad Segura program at US Regional Processing Centers in the country, reports ADN Cuba. Currently, only Nicaraguans and Venezuelans are eligible in Costa Rica.
“Louisiana Republican Rep. Clay Higgins and California Democratic Rep. Lou Correa have teamed up on legislation to tackle cross-border human trafficking, in a rare bipartisan effort on the political wedge issue of border security. The legislation… aims to improve the United States’ partnerships with local law enforcement in Mexico as well in South and Central America,” says Roll Call.
🇻🇪🇨🇴 Colombia and Venezuela
A new Universidad del Rosario report explores building a new Colombia-Venezuela bilateral relationship, including recommendations such as improved border diplomacy and cooperation and expanding the uses of the Border Mobility Card (Tarjeta de Movilidad Fronteriza).
🇹🇨 Turks and Caicos
Proposed changes to Turks and Caicos’ Immigration Ordinance include “changes to time limits on work permits for skilled and unskilled applicants, the number of years on a work permit or residence permit to qualify for permanent residence certificates will increase from 10 to 15 years, as well as the opportunity for business visas and some classification of temporary work permits to be purchased at ports on arrival.” (Weekly News)
32,115 new tech workers migrated to Canada in the last 12 months, reports Tecna.
MPI explores Canada’s efforts to recruit tech workers, including from the US.
The Conversation highlights the importance of ethical recruitment of healthcare workers for Canada.
🇨🇦🇬🇾 Guyana and Canada
Guyanese “President Irfaan Ali on Thursday appealed to Canada to set up a training institution in Guyana to train Guyanese as nurses for the local, Caribbean and Canadian markets, as the South American nation grapples with a serious shortage of that category of health workers due to migration.” (Demerara Waves)
🇧🇴🇨🇱 Chile and Bolivia
Chile is looking to facilitate easier access to labor migration to the country from Bolivia. (Erbol)
Amid a nationwide shortage of teachers, Lloyd B Smith at Observer calls for Jamaica to recruit teachers from abroad.
🇺🇸 United States
“The F-1 STEM optional practical training (OPT) program will be expanded to include eight new degree fields, including linguistics and computer science; mechatronics, robotics and automation engineering; and geospatial intelligence.” (Fragomen)
Migrants in Transit
🇺🇸 United States
“The number of migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization in June plummeted to the lowest level since the start of the Biden administration following the enactment of stricter asylum rules,” reports CBS.
Arianna Kohan and I wrote at the Latin America Daily Briefing about recent political controversies in Guatemala, noting that per USA Today, leading center-left, reformist president candidate Bernardo “Arevalo warned that if Guatemala suffers a ‘loss of democracy’ economic conditions in the country would further deteriorate and ‘increase the push for people to go to the United States.’”
Borders and Enforcement
Cubans have used Serbia as an entry point to Europe and the EU, but Serbia has now imposed visa restrictions on Cubans, as well as other nationalities, “under pressure from the European Union,” says ABC.
Opposition deputy Gustavo Aliaga is calling for Bolivia to militarize its borders in response to growing migration and vehicle robberies, reports Expreso. Bolivian and Chilean officials have met to discuss these issues, notes SwissInfo.
“Controversy over (immigration detention practices) led seven provinces over the last year to cancel agreements allowing the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to use their prisons to house migrants detained over security concerns while their cases are considered,” reports Recorder.
🇺🇸 United States
“Customs and Border Protection was set up after 9/11 amid the fight against terrorism. Its responsibilities have ballooned with the influx of asylum-seeking migrants crossing the southern border,” says New York Times.
The US is restricting access to the Visa Waiver Program ESTA for those that have traveled to Cuba. (Fragomen)
A new New York Times interactive explores global demographic trends.
🇺🇸 United States
MPI explores Colombian immigration in the US.