Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Nicaraguans Cram Immigration Seeking Refuge

Apart from marches and union demonstrations, Monday dawned with long lines of Nicaraguan citizens in the vicinity of the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – Costa Rica immigration service – in La Uruca.

The lines this Monday morning was for more than 500 meters (5 blocks). Immigration is giving out only 200 appointments a day or 1,000 a week.

Between 6:00 am and 6:30 am the line stretched for more than 500 meters (five blocks) and was visible from the Autopista General Cañas

The men, women, and children are Nicaraguan citizens who seek refuge in Costa Rica due to the socio-political crisis that their home country has been experiencing for over 2 months.

- paying the bills -

According to estimates by the Ministry of Public Security (MSP), 80% of Nicaraguans applying for refuge have lived in Costa Rica for years. The other 20% are Nicaraguans fleeing the violence and repression in their country.

“They are taking advantage of the situation (in Nicaragua) to get legalized (in Costa Ric),” said Michael Soto, Minister of the MSP.

Last Monday alone some 1,500 Nicaraguans arrived at the immigration offices, forcing officials to implement a plan to handle 200 requests a day or 1,000 per week.

For them, there is no cold, rain, heat or hunger to stop them, because they have a clear objective.

Some 4,000 have so far lined up to request refuge in Costa Rica

- paying the bills -

“You have to sleep here (in line) to achieve something. I arrived Sunday morning and I am here until they help me because in Nicaragua things are very difficult.

“I came alone for what is happening (the conflicts). I left my three children with my mother and I cannot sleep because I have not found work, I do not know what to do, without work and without papers, it is very difficult”, explained Margarita Madrigal, one of the foreigners who maintains the hope of obtaining refuge.

The Acting Director of Migration, Daguer Hernández, said that not all the Nicaraguans who arrive are candidates for refuge because there are many who have lived in Costa Rica in an irregular manner (illegally) for years.

However, Hernandez clarified, that even those who do not meet the requirements to obtain refuge are cared for and, as their case progresses, they are told the reasons why they cannot continue with the request.

“We are going to talk to the people who come to ask for refuge, we do not have formal requests at the border, which would be normal in a crisis, so the people who are going to immigration are people who are already living in Costa Rica and who think that this condition of refuge allows them to regularize their immigration status,” explained the Acting Director.

Hernandez also clarified that the refuge does not make any person entitled to money nor does it give access to the health services of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS).

- paying the bills --

Minister Soto added that police are safeguarding the many foreigners camping the night to be first in line in the morning.

This Monday morning there was also a Cruz Roja (Red Cross) unit, while officers of the Policía de Migración (immigration police) ensured order along the long line.

For them, there is no cold, rain, heat or hunger to stop them from their objective

The Refuge Process

Despite the thousands, the last count is at least 4,000 Nicaraguans, looking for refuge in Costa Rica, the approval margin, in general, is approximately 6%.

After the long wait in line and obtaining the appointment, people interested in obtaining refuge fill out a form and, from that information, immigration officials review the international databases and the migratory movements to know if they have an open file.

If they qualify, after completing the first phase of the process, they get a second interview and it is with the Comisión de Visas de Refugio (Refugee Visa Commission) – created by the Ley de Migración (Immigration Law) – that determines whether or not refugee status is granted.

“A person who has well-founded fears of being persecuted by nationality, race, religion, gender, belonging to a social group or political opinions fits within that legal definition of refuge, without that condition they should not do request process,” said Hernández.

Sources (in Spanish): La Nacion; Crhoy

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Immigration will not sanction foreign carriers affected by blockades

QCOSTARICA - Given the national blockades that have affected transit, the...

What will happen to the Nicaraguans rejected by their country?

(QCOSTARICA) While humanitarian organizations continue pressuring Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega to...


Legislators approve elimination of annuities for the next two years

QCOSTARICA - The Legislative Assembly approved this Monday, in a second and final debate, a bill that will eliminate annuities for the next two...

The U.S. votes on Tuesdays to comply with God and Caesar

QREPORTS - Why is election day in the United States on a Tuesday in November? For the answer, let's go back to 1845. That year,...

Exercise their powers effectively and with a sense of urgency

"Exercise their powers effectively and with a sense of urgency"

Tickets issued for not buckling up and use of cell phone at the wheel increased this year

QCOSTARICA - The increase in the number of fines issued for not wearing a seat belt and using a cell phone behind the wheel...

Protesters maintain blockade in Perez

QCOSTARICA  - Despite the announcement last night by the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica (MSP) that all the blockades in the country were lifted, a...

#DEBUNKED: False tweet circulates in which Donald Trump relates Carlos Alvarado to Nicolás Maduro

#DEBUNKED: NOT TRUE that the president of the United States, Donald Trump, published a message on Twitter in which he relates the president of...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.