Updated 06:39 AM EDT, Sun, Sep 20, 2020

Costa Rica News: Cuban Migrants Stranded in Costa Rica Due to Strict Immigration Policies

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It has been a horrific few weeks for over 1,000 Cubans who are trekking through South and Central America to find their way to the the United States and many of them are already risking deportation.

Migrants like Dona Rosa Taboada, for instance, are desperate. She's been stranded in Costa Rica for seven days, as the police have refused to grant her travel to Nicaragua -- the next stop in her long trek to following her sons to US soil. Dona Rosa is only one of the thousands of Cubans fleeing the island via a long land route to the US -- beginning in Ecuador, to Colombia, to Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, in order to finally go on their journey to search for the "American Dream" or be united with family members who went on to embark on that journey.

According to The Tico Times, the problem is the fact that Costa Rican authorities are underway with the dismantling of a migrant smuggling ring that charged Cubans thousands of dollars each to travel north. The police arrested 13 suspects and raided several locations in San Jose and Guanacaste, but the same authorities put in place immigration requirements that seem as arduous as ever for Cubans.

Said the outlet, the authorities, in the hours following the raid, changed immigration requirements, now asking Cubans to have a visa to enter and travel through Costa Rica -- an action that also created a crisis along the Costa Rica-Panama border.

By Thursday morning, more than a thousand Cuban migrants have been rounded up in Pas Canoas, and another 100 outside Costa Rica's Immigration Administration.

In a report by Yahoo!, Director Kathya Rodriguez said that the migrants in San Jose could be taken north to the border of Nicaragua if their papers are in proper order. However, undocumented Cubam migrants in Paso Canoas are likely to be returned to Panama, and going back to Cuba is not an option. She shared, "In that case, we will conduct the process directly with Panama because it's obvious these people entered from Panama. I don't know what sort of migration processing Panama is doing" with the Cubans,

Roberto Lisboa, who spent the past seven days in Paso Canoas said, "There are pregnant women, small children and senior citizens here who want to reach their destination, to see their families. We only want them [immigration officials] to let us travel through the country. We don't want to do any harm to Costa Rica."

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