Costa Rica’s US ambassador talks immigration

Poor immigrants from Nicaragua have long chosen to move to Costa Rica; however, the country has now become a refuge for an ever-increasing amount of people from El Salvador who are trying to escape violent gangs and criminals, stateless trans-continentals, and Cubans trying to get to the United States.

The Costa Rica ambassador to the US, Roman Macaya, quoted the recent study from the Center for Migration Studies, which revealed that the undocumented immigrant population of the country has fallen to its lowest figure in over a decade. The current total of 10.9 million represents a sharp decline in illegal immigration from Europe and South America, and a steady decline in Mexican immigration.

Speaking to the Washington Intergovernmental Professional Group at the city’s Ronald Reagan Building recently, Macaya pointed out that while 68,541 unaccompanied immigrant minors were caught by the US Border Patrol in the 2014 fiscal year, none of them came from Costa Rica. This is because, Macaya says, “we are a destination for migrants of all types. Not only are we getting people from the Northern Triangle, between 100,000 to 120,000 Americans consider Costa Rica home today.”

Macaya also noted that Costa Rica is currently experiencing a large amount of Cuban immigration. Many Cubans are trying to get to the US as a result of the fear that warmer relations between the two countries might put an end to current US immigration policy regarding the island, only to be refused entry into Nicaragua. Happily, a plan for airlifts to put an end to what was becoming a humanitarian crisis now appears to have been found.