(QCOSTARICA) The immigration service reports returning to Panama 66 Cuban migrants who entered Costa Rica illegally through the southern border, between August 1 and 13.
The move confirms the government’s recent position that it will turn back all who enter the country illegally, in an effort to curb the migrant crisis facing the country.
Authorities say many of the foreigners were caught by the Policia de Fronteras (Border Police) after crossing into Costa Rica by any palm plantations and fields along the Panama border.
The Director of Immigration, Gisela Yockchen, admitted that there is concern about the increase in influx of Cubans to the country. She added that the situation could worsen if the Panamanians decided not to take them back.
Recently Panama’s president Juan Carlos Varela said that his country will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the migrants, but, in actuality Costa Rican authorities say the “canaleros (as the Panamanians are often referred to) are promoting a policy to ensure the migrants do not remain in their territory and continue north on their journey to reach the United States.
Costa Rica’s situation worsens, and so does the life of the migrants, due to the radical position continued by the government of Nicaragua to keep its border closed to the migrants.
“The Costa Rican government reiterates that although we are a caring and respectful of human rights, (in the country) there are no conditions for new irregular migration flows. Therefore, the authorities will apprehend and initiate deportation proceedings to those who enter national territory an irregular way,” said the Immigration service in a press release.
Sources: La Nacion, Crhoy, immigration service