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Americas Migration Brief - June 19, 2023
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Table of Contents
Integration and Development
IOM has a new integration measurement toolkit and index based on pilots in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Peru.
A new UNICEF report explores education access for children and adolescents in migratory situations in Mexico.
Some Tijuana businesses are seeking to employ more migrants to fill labor shortages; 2% of the workers in the industrial and construction sectors are foreigners. (El Imparcial)
Migrants in Juarez, meanwhile, often avoid work as they seek to gain entry into the US, reports El Paso Times, noting a labor shortage of about 30,000 in the city.
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago
“The Ministry of National Security has extended the work permits for those Venezuelan nationals who registered in the 2019 (regularization) exercise, for a further six months, until December 31, 2023,” reports Guardian. Although more than 16,000 Venezuelans were registered during the 2019 exercise, there are currently more than 70,000 Venezuelans in the country, according to National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds. (Guardian)
🇺🇸 United States
A bipartisan proposal, “H.R. 7854, the Venezuelan Adjustment Act, would provide a path to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status for certain Venezuelans who have been in the U.S. as of December 31, 2021.” (press release)
“A long-awaited program to grant permanent residency to Ukrainians with familial ties will be realized soon… but a similar program for other Ukrainians is unlikely to be available for another year or more,” reports Global News.
There are 590,000 Venezuelan children enrolled in the Colombian education system, reports Proyecto Venezuela.
It is important to consider linguistics, cohabitation, and pedagogy when working towards inclusion of foreign students in Chile, notes Ciper.
The governor of Antofagasta has called for migrant regularization in Chile in order to have migrants better contribute to the economy and fiscal balance. (BioBioChile)
A new IOM report explores the role of the Peruvian diaspora for sustainable development.
Asylum, Protection, and Human Rights
“Venezuelans seeking asylum abroad nearly tripled in 2022… (and) more than two in five new asylum applicants globally last year came from Latin America and the Caribbean,” reports Reuters, citing UNHCR’s new Global Trends report.
El Pitazo highlights how emigration affects the protection needs of Venezuelan children both still in the country and in the diaspora.
800 Mexicans were displaced in Michoacán due to violence, reports Crisis Group’s Falko Ernst on Twitter.
The National Migration Institute is among the agencies with the most complaints to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, notes El Universal.
Civil society organizations have written a joint statement criticizing Mexico’s decision to accept deportations from the US, asserting that it breaks Mexican and international law.
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
Haitian civil society organizations are calling for greater “dignity and security” for the Haitian community in the Dominican Republic, particularly in relation to ongoing deportations. (El Caribe)
“There are 160 refugees and asylum-seekers from over 15 countries under the UNHCR’s mandate in Cuba, el Toque explores the little known issue of migrants in Cuba, mainly from Western Sahara, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, and Yemen,” writes Jordana Timerman at Just Caribbean Updates.
A new DRC report explores protection issues for indigenous cross-border communities by the Colombia-Venezuela border.
Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that the country’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the US “does not infringe refugee claimants’ rights to liberty and security of the person,” reports The Guardian.
Advocates such as the Canadian Council for Refugees have criticized the ruling, labeling the US as not “a safe country for refugees,” reports Global News.
Of the nearly 27,000 asylum applications received by Chilean authorities between 2010 and 2022, just 3% have been accepted, while 28% have been rejected and a further 69% remain pending, says Chile’s Jesuit Migrant Service.
🇺🇸 United States
“The majority of likely voters across the United States are supportive of access to asylum at the U.S. southern border by a margin of +20 percent, according to a new poll,” says Refugee Advocacy Lab.
The Biden administration is extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the roughly 337,000 current recipients from El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua, reports CBS.
“Immigration advocates applauded the move, but said it fell short. TPS beneficiaries from Central America are required to have lived in the United States more than two decades to be eligible, ignoring more recent causes for migration. Many advocates had pushed for expanded eligibility for more recent arrivals from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela, reports the Associated Press.” (via Latin America Daily Briefing)
The Biden administration did not expand the initiative “due to concerns about a potential spike in border crossings,” notes CBS.
“The U.S. has stopped taking mobile phone app appointments to admit asylum seekers at the Laredo border crossing, after advocates warned US authorities that migrants were being targeted in Nuevo Laredo for extortion in relation to scheduled appointments, reports the Associated Press.” (via Latin America Daily Briefing)
USC professor Deisy Del Real warns at Newsweek that the US humanitarian parole program for certain nationalities is limited by a lack of access to passports in countries such as Venezuela, among other concerns.
Migration Information Source explores the data on refugees and asylum in the US.
🇰🇾 Cayman Islands
Former Cayman criminal lawyer Peter Polack explores at EUToday human rights concerns and the history of deportations of Cubans from the Cayman Islands.
🇰🇳 St. Kitts and Nevis
Migratory Institutions and Regional and Bilateral Cooperation
The US is expanding its Regional Processing Centers (Movilidad Segura) initiative to Costa Rica. During the six-month exploratory phase, begun June 12, appointments will be limited to asylum seeking Venezuelans and Nicaraguans that can prove they were already in the country by June 12, 2023. (joint statement, see last week’s AMB)
The centers in Guatemala (for Guatemalans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Nicaraguans) and Colombia (for Cubans, Haitians, and Venezuelans) are similarly restricted by nationality. (Conexión Migrante)
IOM is supporting Eastern Caribbean countries “to improve their preparedness for scenarios where large evacuations from one island to another might be needed, in the context of increasingly severe impacts of climate change, and the possibility of environmental degradation including volcanic scenarios,” reports Dominica News Online.
Regional governments met last week for the “Regional Coalition Against Trafficking Persons and Smuggling Migrants.” (Capital)
🇵🇪🇪🇨 Ecuador and Peru
🇵🇹🇩🇴 Dominican Republic and Portugal
Dominican and Portuguese authorities signed an agreement “to establish mechanisms that contribute to the development of labor migration. Both governments agree to cooperate technically on the issue of migratory flows between the two nations.” (Diario Digital)
Chile is looking to attract temporary workers, “prioritizing the Mercosur visa,” including by exempting Bolivians from Mercosur visa fees. (LR)
Canada has opened up two new Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) pathways: “one is tailored to candidates who have a job offer from a Canadian employer and the second is available to highly-skilled refugees without job offers.” (press release)
🇺🇸 United States
Washington Post covers how countries such as the UK, Australia, and Canada are recruiting international students educated in the US that want to avoid “(facing) red tape and long delays” trying to get a work visa in the US. “Only 11 percent of foreign-born U.S. university bachelor’s degree recipients and 23 percent who get master’s degrees manage to stay and work in the US.”
Migrants in Transit
57% of Nicaraguans would “very likely” or “likely” emigrate if they had the resources to do so, reports Confidencial, citing a new CID Gallup poll. 55% would go to the US, followed by 13% to Spain and 11% to Costa Rica.
Borders and Enforcement
🇺🇸 United States
“The United States Treasury on Friday announced sanctions on a Mexico-based migrant-trafficking gang that supplied asylum seekers with false papers to game the process,” reports AP.
BioBioChile expresses concern that Chile may lose its visa-free status for entry to the United States. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of US senators are proposing removing visa requirements for Uruguayans, notes LR21.
After nearly 700 defrauded Punjab Indian students faced deportation from Canada due to fraudulent paperwork (see last week’s AMB), Canada has decided it will not deport those with genuine intent to study in the country. “However, Fraser also said that Canadian authorities were aware that not all the applicants in the group were genuine,” notes Immigration.
Canada “is home to the largest Punjabi diaspora in the world,” reports Canindia, noting that “Of about 800,000 international students currently studying in Canada, 320,000 are from India. Though there are no precise figures, Punjabi students roughly make up about 70 percent of the Indian students here.”
🇺🇸 United States
“Today, fewer than 1 percent of people who want to move permanently to the United States can do so legally,” writes David Bier of Cato, explaining the lack of access to legal migration to the US. The paper includes a chart showing all the possible options for potential eligibility (and denial).
According to Aruba’s 2020 Census, there are 6,291 Venezuelans in the country—far fewer than the 16,800 listed by R4V, reports Crónicas del Caribe. However, some Venezuelans may have avoided the census or not provided complete information out of fear of deportation.
In a move to “utilise net immigration as one of its solutions to ensure that there is enough labour to support Bermuda’s ageing population and growing economy,” Bermuda is “set to lower eligibility requirements for individuals to obtain Permanent Resident’s Certificates,” reports Royal Gazette.
Luis Miguel Blanco Bonilla at La Estrella de Panamá looks at migration numbers in Panama and considers what if the country were to become a greater destination for migrants in the region.
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