Discover more from Americas Migration Brief
Americas Migration Brief - March 6, 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.
Thanks for reading Americas Migration Brief! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Table of Contents
Integration and Development
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
Costa Rica has introduced a special temporary category to regularize the status of Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans that are currently in the process of seeking asylum or that have had their asylum applications denied, reports La Prensa.
Approximately 12,000 migrants have applied for regularization under Belize’s amnesty program, reports BBN.
A survey of Venezuelans in Colombia finds that 21% have suffered from anxiety and depression, reports Semana.
Colombia has launched the “Aún estás a Tiempo” plan to work towards ensuring the regularization of the Venezuelan migrant population in the country, reports Radio Noticias Venezuela.
“More than 50 private sector companies and unions signed their commitment to generate economic and job opportunities” for Venezuelan immigrants and Colombian returnees through the “Oportunidades Sin Fronteras” initiative, reports Proyecto Venezuela.
The director of Barómetro de Xenofobia, Julio Daly, discusses discrimination against Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Colombia with Blu Radio, noting that “the most frequent myth that we found in our analysis of narratives is the hypersexualization of migrant women.”
Agência Brasil covers the struggles of a community of 340 indigenous Warao Venezuelans in Boa Vista, Roraima. They were initially provided shelter and resources by the “Operation Welcome” program of the Brazilian government—but the program deactivated their shelter and left in April 2022, failing to communicate and dialogue effectively with the community, according to Warao leaders.
R4V has published a report on the first year (2022) of the Operação Horizonte program, aimed at improving access to documentation for migrants in São Paulo state. 5,457 meetings providing services were conducted, with 3,412 providing all needed services that same day.
The director of Agenda Migrante, Eunice Rendón, told La Razón that 2022 saw “a 34.1 percent increase in events involving women in an irregular migratory situation in Mexico, compared to the figures that were registered during 2021.”
Chile’s migrant population is growing increasingly vulnerable to job insecurity and poverty, says La Izquierda Diario, noting that migrant unemployment increased 1.4 percentage points over 12 months to reach 7.4% at the close of last year.
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
A new PAHO study explores “health care access and migration experiences among Venezuelan female sex workers living in the Dominican Republic,” noting that “79% had taken an HIV test in the past 6 months, and 74% knew where to seek HIV services.”
Asylum, Protection, and Human Rights
A new Danish Refugee Council report explores protection issues across Latin America and the Caribbean from 2021-2022. The report covers internal displacement, asylum, and other humanitarian pathways and regularizations for protection, while also addressing the various threats causing protection needs.
A new Global Americans report explores climate change and migration in the Caribbean, highlighting recent natural disasters and protection needs, particularly among the Indigenous. Alejandro Trenchi and Jackson Mihm discuss the topic further in a commentary, writing, “long-standing economic and financial constraints are preventing the region from implementing much-needed mitigation, adaptation, and resilience measures to assuage potential large-scale migration events.”
“An estimated 5,000 Russians are waiting south of the Mexican border for their chance to cross and claim asylum in the United States, a humanitarian worker tells Border Report.”
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
The Costa Rican government has temporarily suspended the ban on foreign travel for asylum seekers in the country, reports Confidencial. The country’s Constitutional Chamber had already previously annulled the ban, although the government had looked to seek “clarification” on the ruling (see AMB 2/20/23).
“More than 98 people have died, and over 340 have gone missing traveling from Cuba towards the U.S., since January 2021. ‘Little is said about those who do not arrive, because they die or disappear in the attempt. Their names, often unknown, are diluted in imprecise statistics. However, behind the numbers there are suffering families, broken stories and incomplete dreams.’ — El Toque.” (via Latin America Daily Briefing)
🇺🇸 United States
WOLA and Temple Law School provide new materials for attorneys supporting asylum claims; “This new set of ATOCs are tailored to cases from El Salvador, Mexico, and Nicaragua.”
“As Nicaragua’s dictatorship worsens, people there are especially eager to take advantage of President Biden’s new migrant parole program and come to the U.S. The only problem: the Nicaraguan community here may not be as equipped as it hoped to take them in,” in comparison to larger and more organized Cuban, Venezuelan, and Haitian communities in southern Florida, writes WLRN.
A new asylum processing update from Strauss Center finds that all asylum waitlists at the border are now dissolved, with about 750 slots available per day across the border, although CBP One app users report serious accessibility issues (via Caitlyn Yates on Twitter). Reuters reports, “Dozens of migrant families are splitting up at Mexico's northern border as they struggle to secure U.S. asylum appointments on a government app beset by high demand and persistent glitches, migrants and advocates say.” The American Immigration Council breaks down the various flaws of the CBP One app.
WOLA’s Adam Isacson highlights stories related to the US-Mexico border and human rights at the Beyond the Wall weekly update, writing “The Biden administration’s proposed new asylum transit ban rule has divided opinions among Democratic lawmakers and could be related to two senior White House officials’ exit.”
Hannah Dreier, author of a recent NYT investigation into child migrant labor in the US (see last week’s AMB), writes on Twitter, “Things that have happened to protect migrant child workers since Monday: Four agencies have launched investigations; Congress has introduced legislation; Both parties have demanded more from HHS and DOL; And the children who spoke out have gotten help.” Reuters covers new efforts from the Biden administration to combat child labor, while the Washington Post explains how the children and their families wrapped up in the investigations are now “paying the price,” including due to fear of deportation.
Members of Chile’s armed forces that have been sent to the country’s northern border are taking human rights classes taught by the Carabineros national police, reports La Tercera. (see last week’s AMB and below in “Borders and Enforcement”)
“Honduras must work to prevent internal displacement forced by violence, which forced 631 people to flee their homes between 2021 and 2022, and offer ‘durable solutions,’ the Pastoral de Movilidad Humana told EFE,” with the outlet adding that the Honduran government passed a law on internal displacement last December.
Regional and Bilateral Cooperation
Caribisch Netwerk covers discussions related to migration at the annual political consultations between Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands. They note that there are a reported 17,000 irregular Venezuelan migrants in Curaçao. Venezuelan refugees in French Saint Martin reportedly cross the border to Dutch Saint Maarten during the day to work.
“The Premier of Nevis, Hon. Mark Brantley said that he welcomes more debate on the Haitian migration situation the region is facing as the CARICOM country grapples with gang violence, health crises, economic turmoil and political instability, as it is not attracting sufficient attention,” also noting capacity concerns for micro-states in the Caribbean like St. Kitts and Nevis in responding to Haitian migration. (St Kitts & Nevis Observer)
🇬🇹🇭🇳 Honduras and Guatemala
Guatemalan and Honduran officials met last week to discuss developing a protocol for the protection and return of child and adolescent minors, reports Prensa Latina.
🇪🇨🇨🇺 Cuba and Ecuador
Cuban and Ecuadorian authorities met last week to discuss migration between the countries, reports Prensa Latina, adding that “the Cuban representative clarified that the objective now is not to reduce travel, but to develop it in an orderly manner to prevent citizens from becoming victims of gangs dedicated to illegal human trafficking.”
🇧🇴🇨🇱 Chile and Bolivia
The Chilean government is seeking to establish a deal with the Bolivian government so that the latter country would take back irregular migrants from the Chilean border—Bolivia currently only accepts returns of Bolivian citizens (El Mostrador). The mayor of the northern Chilean city of Colchane tells El Diario that Bolivian authorities “lack political will” on the subject of migration control.
The Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) has registered 156 foreign doctors from across the Americas, the plurality being Venezuelan, to immigrate to the country and provide health care services “in very remote places where there is great need” and there has historically been a shortage of doctors. (Lado)
🇲🇽🇸🇻 El Salvador and Mexico
El Salvador’s Labor Ministry traveled to Mexico, seeking to expand the Labor Migration Program to Mexico and meeting with business leaders, according to a press release.
In an effort to address labor shortages and increase migration, “Canada is opening a new visa application processing centre within its embassy in the Philippines,” reports CTV News. Meanwhile, “Canada stands to benefit by providing vocational skills and English training to Rohingya refugees languishing in refugee camps in Bangladesh,” say researchers Ibtesum Afrin and Deeplina Banerjee at Policy Options.
Migrants in Transit
A new Baker Institute study explores migrant caravans in Central America and Mexico, noting the role of Mexican transnational criminal organizations.
The New Yorker covers a Venezuelan family’s three-thousand-mile journey to New York via the Darien Gap.
IOM has published several new Displacement Tracking Matrixes (DTMs). DTMs in Tumbes (1 and 2), Tacna, and Puno characterize the Venezuelan population in transit surveyed in each of those Peruvian cities. A DTM in Panama covers recent Darien Gap migration; a DTM in Haiti examines displacements in the Artibonite and Center departments caused by violent attacks.
“As of Wednesday, the National Migration Service of Panama resumed the ‘humanitarian corridor’ for the transfer of migrants from the province of Darién to the province of Chiriquí, so that they can continue their journey to the United States,” reports Evtv. The government had temporarily suspended the transit by bus due to multiple fatal accidents (see last week’s AMB).
“Guatemala has become a key gatekeeper for the United States in curbing migration. Authorities reported that 15,593 Venezuelans were barred from entering from Honduras, with a major increase in arrivals in October,” reports El Faro, exploring the struggles of Venezuelan migrants in transit in the country, adding that “More than a dozen Venezuelans told me that Guatemalan police extorted them on their way from the Honduran border to the capital.”
The first migrant caravan of the year left southern Mexico on February 28, reports Infobae, noting that the group of approximately 1,000 included migrants from Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, and Guatemala.
El Faro highlights the unique struggles of migrant women in transit in Mexico.
🇻🇪🇨🇴 Colombia and Venezuela
Despite the Colombia-Venezuela border officially opening again, the informal “trochas” are still used by some crossing the border, reports EFE.
Covering increasing Venezuelan migration to Chile, Al Jazeera highlights the story of a 5-year-old and her family, moving to Chile in search of health care.
Borders and Enforcement
InfoMigrants covers expulsions of Haitians from Guadeloupe, noting that Guadeloupe also hosts immigration detention for those apprehended on Martinique and Saint-Martin.
Northern Chile residents that normally navigate the Chile-Bolivia-Peru border region for daily tasks without migratory control have complained that the recent deployment of the military to the border has restricted their movement, reports AP (see last week’s AMB).
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago
“While most migrants in the illicit human trafficking trade enter Trinidad and Tobago via plane through Piarco International Airport or through the south-west peninsula via boats from Venezuela, the majority of human trafficking activities in the country take place in central Trinidad,” reports Guardian. Newsday adds that the US State Department is pushing the government “to crack down on officials suspected of being involved in human trafficking.”
The trend of Russian women moving to Argentina to give birth continues (see AMB 2/20/23). Rest of World highlights the role of social media influencers in driving the trend, noting, “18,500 Russian migrants have entered Argentina since the war on Ukraine started a year ago.”
Colombia Risk Analysis discusses emigration of young Colombians looking for job opportunities.
More on Migration
🇺🇸 United States
The New York Times highlights increasing returns of irregular migrants in the US to their countries of origin, most often Mexico, noting that “many older people decide they have realized their original goals for immigrating and can afford to trade the often-grueling work available to undocumented workers for a slower pace in their home country.”
“In 2022, Family Remittances Received In Bolivia Reached A Historical Record Of Over $US 1.4 Billion,” reports LatinaRepublic.
Nicaraguan remittances, reaching $3.2 billion last year, “are keeping Nicaragua’s economy afloat,” reports AP; economist Enrique Sáenz says that emigration “has become (President Daniel Ortega’s) main macroeconomic policy and his main social policy,” AP adds.