Immigrants from Cuba are not alone in attempting to get to the United States via Central America. More than 200 undocumented immigrants from Africa were sent back to Panama on Friday morning, only to then immediately head back to Costa Rica to begin another attempt to get to the US.
The African immigrants were initially intercepted on Thursday on the northern Costa Rica-Nicaragua border where they had forced the closure of a road by protesting over being refused entry to Nicaragua as part of their attempt to make it to the United States. They were sent to the southern border by bus early on Friday morning in order to be sent back to Panama, from which they had originally entered Costa Rica, only for Panama to then refuse to let them back in. Left in the border zone of two nations, the immigrants then headed back to Costa Rica again.
Police presence on the border has been reinforced by Costa Rican authorities, and the immigrants are currently being guarded by border police and police intervention units, according to a spokesperson from the Ministry of Public Security in Costa Rica.
On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry of Costa Rica also announced that more than a thousand undocumented immigrants, primarily from Cuba, violently forced their way over the southern border of Costa Rica from Panama. Some were arrested and sent back, but others are still being pursued by authorities. The Costa Rican Foreign Minister repeatedly blamed US immigration policies for causing the mass influx of undocumented immigrants.