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Americas Migration Brief - July 3, 2023
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Table of Contents
Integration and Development
A new report from the OAS and several partners explores migration-related myths and public narratives in Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.
A new Equilibrium CenDE and Friedrich Naumann Foundation report looks at financial inclusion and integration for Venezuelans in Colombia and Peru, finding that migratory documentation and certain services’ geographic reach were key factors.
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
Confidencial highlights the struggles of LGBT Nicaraguans in Costa Rica.
IOM conducted a qualitative study of community perceptions of migrants in Desamparados, near San José, Costa Rica.
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
Economic growth and development in the Dominican Republic is in part due to migrant laborers, who are mainly Haitian, says Cronkite News.
Despite narratives and debates to the contrary, “the data does not show that in Chile foreigners commit more crimes than Chileans,” write Diego Chaparro and Juan Pablo Ramaciotti at El Mostrador.
12,765 individuals have applied for permanent residence in Belize through the amnesty regularization program. (UNHCR)
A new report from Barometro de Xenofobia and partners explores the integration and contexts of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia considering emigrating to the US.
“One of the IOM's main strategies to promote comprehensive health care and attention for pregnant women and their families is the 'Maternity and Paternity' preparation course, which is carried out in 18 (Colombian) departments.” (press release)
🇦🇬 Antigua and Barbuda
“Concerns are being raised that some Caricom and Dominican Republic nationals are still being asked to pay for work permits despite a recently implemented government waiver,” reports Observer, noting that government officials say the program is in effect despite the fact that formal legislation remains forthcoming.
A new R4V report explores the trajectory of the interiorization program for voluntary relocations of Venezuelans in Brazil.
The state of Paraíba is working to ensure the citizenship and documentation of Indigenous Venezuelan Waraos in Brazil. (press release)
“The project ‘Sumarse + Migración + Comercio + Desarrollo’ seeks to promote the socioeconomic integration of refugees and vulnerable migrants and their development through their link with the Ecuadorian export sector,” reports La Vanguardia.
El Diario highlights InfoContigo, a free telephone/WhatsApp chat service “to offer information on access to rights and available services, as well as provide guidance on humanitarian assistance.”
Asylum, Protection, and Human Rights
“An independent expert to the United Nations condemned mass deportations of Haitians who had fled the country amid a humanitarian crisis driven by worsening violence from heavily armed gangs who control large swathes of the country,” reports Reuters, noting that he additionally singled out the Dominican Republic in his comments. The Dominican government criticized the comments in a press release.
“About 5,000 people have been forced to flee or take refuge from fighting between three armed groups in Colombia’s southwest Nariño province — FARC dissidents - Segunda Marquetalia and Estado Mayor Central - and rebel group the National Liberation Army (ELN) — which began on May 28, according to the government's high peace commission. (Reuters),” writes Jordana Timerman at Latin America Daily Briefing.
Venezuelans in Curaçao are calling for a respect of their human rights and right to seek protection. They are “tired of numerous arbitrary arrests, the hopeless incarceration of refugees and migrants in crisis, the growing number of stateless children, labor exploitation, and xenophobia in Curaçao,” reports Curaçao Chronicle.
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago
UNHCR has expressed support for Trinidad and Tobago’s efforts towards a national refugee policy, adding, “UNHCR will continue to partner with the government and offer technical support, training, and capacity building prior to gradually handing over registration and refugee status-determination activities.” (Newsday1, Newsday2)
🇺🇸 United States
“U.S. and Mexican officials are discussing a [potential] new U.S. refugee program for some non-Mexican asylum seekers waiting in Mexico… The program would likely be open to Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan refugees in Mexico,” reports Reuters.
CBP One-organized asylum appointments are restarting at Nuevo Laredo-Laredo “less than two weeks after CBP had shut down the system… once U.S. officials learned criminals were forcing migrants to pay $500 each in order to reach the bridge to attend their appointments,” reports Reuters.
Austin Kocher explores the use of CBP One further at his Substack.
WOLA’s Adam Isacson highlights stories related to the US-Mexico border and human rights at the Beyond the Wall weekly update, explaining, “Official reports and video released and divulged over the past week shed more light on two troubling mid-May fatalities involving Border Patrol.”
UCAB explores the role of armed colectivos in causing Venezuelan displacement and asylum seeking.
In a move oriented towards human rights and protection, Mexico’s National Institute of Migration (INM) has agreed to “change the migration station model to a shelter, to improve care for foreigners who move through the country,” reports La Razón.
Migratory Institutions and Regional and Bilateral Cooperation
The US Regional Processing Centers in Colombia launched June 28, but within a day, the online portal had temporarily closed to new applications. And despite previous reports of at least 12 planned centers in the country, “until now there is no definition about where the physical points of attention to migrants will be. The US wants there to be four, distributed throughout Colombian territory, but the government is thinking of just one… several mayors have already said no to the possibility of having these points in their territory.” (El Nacional, El Tiempo, AMB 5/29/23)
“As the LA Declaration enters a new phase of maturation, it is imperative for the hemisphere to intensify efforts to overcome coordination and communication challenges among countries and levels of government. Addressing existing barriers, such as securing sustainable funding among others, is essential for countries and agencies to tackle specific migration challenges effectively,” write Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian and Diego Chaves-González in a new FIU report.
Mexico is calling for the US to provide economic resources to Central American and Caribbean countries in order to halt migration, pointing to the Mexican government’s Sembrando Vida and Jóvenes Construyendo el Futuro programs as generating just under 90,000 jobs in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and Cuba during 2021-2022. (El Universal, Angulo7)
🇻🇪🇨🇴 Colombia and Venezuela
A new “Good Neighborliness and Integration Commission” between Colombia and Venezuela “will focus on various aspects: infrastructure, communications, migration, social and energy issues. A daily cooperation at the borders and beyond,” reports Prensa Latina.
🇺🇸🇲🇽 Mexico and United States
MPI explores tensions and dynamics between state and federal policy responses on immigration.
🇵🇦🇧🇷 Brazil and Panama
Brazilian and Panamanian officials met to discuss and share experiences related to migration and refugees. (press release)
🇪🇸🇩🇴 Dominican Republic and Spain
“The Dominican Republic and Spain have signed a memorandum of understanding to… provide support and protection to migrants and victims of trafficking,” among other issues. (Listin Diario)
Canada has launched a Tech Talent Strategy, which includes a push to recruit up to 10,000 H-1B visa holders in the US within the next year. (press release)
Canada wants to increase healthcare worker migration to the country, reports Immigration.
Migrants in Transit
A new Gallup poll of 13 countries in the region finds that 49% of Colombians, 48% of Dominicans, and 47% of Ecuadorians would emigrate if they had the resources to do so. (Twitter)
There were over 3.2 million internal displacements in South America from 2017-2022 as a result of environmental disasters, notes IOM.
“An increasing proportion of people crossing the Darién Gap are bringing their children. Through May, 20% of people crossing this year have been children – half of them age 5 and younger,” reports El Paso Matters, highlighting findings from a recent delegation to the Darien.
Panama is beginning to conduct HIV tests for migrants that have transited through the Darien Gap, reports El Diario.
Northern Mexico is increasingly becoming a destination for migrants from the United States and Central America, with climate change a contributing factor to migrations from both places of origin, says HighCountryNews, adding, “Though the factors that push people to migrate may not always seem directly climate-related, they are often exacerbated by climate change.”
Fewer Central American migrants are arriving to shelters in Tijuana, according to local civil society. (El Sol de Tijuana)
Peru is seeing an increase of Asian and African migrants in the country en route to the US, reports Infobae,
“Although the land border between Venezuela and Colombia has been fully open since September of last year, many people still use irregular roads, better known as (trochas), to avoid possible legal obstacles,” reports Proyecto Venezuela.
Borders and Enforcement
🇺🇸 United States
Prevention through deterrence policies “have had numerous unintended consequences, including bolstering criminal organizations along the US-Mexico border. Today, human smuggling has transformed into one of the most lucrative industries for crime groups, which have diversified beyond their traditional criminal activities of smuggling drugs and weapons,” says InSight Crime in a three-part investigation on the US-Mexico border, organized crime, smuggling, and corruption.
A new brief from NIJC and partners explores the new Young Adult Case Management Program, launched by ICE this year “to target and monitor 18- and19-year-old youth who the agency deems ‘low flight risk’ and ‘non-dangerous.’”
“The deployment of the National Guard and the Armed Forces to contain illegal migration in (Mexico) increased 36 percent in the last month,” to 31,730 troops, reports El Universal.
Using Freedom of Information requests, Border Criminologies explores immigration searches in Mexico and the prevalent role of security forces, arguing, “the under-regulated procedures, united with the lack of preparation from soldiers and guards to undertake migratory activities, are a perfect setting for systematic violations of human rights.”
Last week marked the beginning of biometric registration for migrants that have entered Chile irregularly. (BioBioChile)
Brazil’s 2022 census reveals slowing population growth and an impending loss of the country’s demographic bonus. Big cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Salvador have seen emigration. (BBC, Brazilian Report)
The aging and emigratory demographics of Curaçao are creating challenges for the financial sustainability of the pension system, with the country’s Social and Economic Council pointing to the crucial role of migration. (Curaçao Chronicle)
More on Migration
US-based Nicaraguans sent nearly $1.5 billion in remittances January-May 2023, 80% more than during the same period last year. (La Prensa)