Saturday 15 May 2021

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

- Advertisement -

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.

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.

- Advertisement -

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

“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.

- Advertisement -

“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).

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

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"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

Failure in Immigration system caused long lines at Juan Santamaría airport

QCOSTARICA - A system failure of the Dirección General de Migración...

Kamala Harris will visit Central America in June and promises more help to immigration

Q24N - The Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris,...


Caja to move ‘non-covid’ patients to private hospitals

QCOSTARICA - Caja patients with diseases other than covid-19 will be transferred to private hospitals, to make room for covid patients, through the "Urgent...

These are the new sanitary measures that will be applied in May

QCOSTARICA - At the press conference from Casa Presidencial that started more than 15 minutes this afternoon, the government announced new sanitary measures that...

Coronavirus digest: choice to get ‘vaccinated or infected’

The German health minister, Jens Spahn, said that despite falling daily cases of the COVID-19 in Germany, caution is still needed. "Everyone will experience this virus," Spahn...

San Jose airport how has rapid covid-19 testing for travelers

QCOSTARICA -  Travelers who require a negative covid-19 test to enter their destination country may now get tested at the Juan Santamaría (San Jose)...

Seriously ill patients from covid-19 overflow Caja capacity

QCOSTARICA - The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) says that its hospitalization figures for serious covid-19 patients are in the red. In a statement ...

Costa Rica will buy two million more doses to accelerate vaccination

QCOSTARICA - The President of the Comision Nacional de Emergencias (CNE), Alexander Solis, announced this Monday afternoon that Costa Rica is purchasing an additional...

Today’s Covid-19 News: New infections continue over 2K daily, despite drop in R rate

QCOSTARICA - The Covid-19 infection rate in Costa Rica dropped, but not enough to reduce the rate of infection. While the indicator stands at 1.32,...

Who are the richest entrepreneurs in the region?

QCOSTARICA - 2020 was marked as a complex year worldwide due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the following are entrepreneurs who were not only...

Cuba Ready to Join WHO-Led COVAX Facility, Ambassador to China Says

Q24N   - Cuba is ready to join the COVAX vaccine-sharing mechanism led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Latin American country's ambassador to...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

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.