Q COSTA RICA – Costa Rica applauded the end of the United States policy that allowed Cubans a near-automatic entry to the U.S. to Cubans who set foot on American soil, regardless of their visa status.

More than 8,000 Cuban migrants have entered Costa Rica on their trek north, to their final destination, the U.S.

According to the government, the U.S. policy encouraged the illegal flow of Cuban migrants, triggering the migratory crisis in Costa Rica and Central America, that began in November 2015 and continues today with Nicaragua closing its borders to migrants.

“This policy also promotes the trafficking of people networks in the region, putting the integrity of migrants at risk,” Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

In April last year, Costa Rica asked U.S. President Barack Obama to repeal the policy.

But, it wasn’t until yesterday, Thursday, January 12, 2017 that the U.S. change its policy, with the announcement by Obama within days of leaving office.

Despite Obama’s announcement, the Cuban Adjustment Act, which establishes accelerated procedures to grant Cuban citizens residence in the U.S., remains in effect.

That is, Cubans who enter the United States legally and with any visa can benefit from an expedited process to obtain residency, but those who do not have a visa will be returned to their country.

 

Why Cubans pass through Costa Rica. Renedering by La Nacion