Colombia Migrant Processing Centers Panamá

Migrant Processing Centers

Migrant Processing Centers

According to a State Department spokesperson, these migrant service centers will begin to operate in mid-May to process asylum applications before migrants try to cross the southern border of the United States irregularly.

Washington DC. The Secretary of National Security Alejandro Mayorkas and the Secretary of State Antony Blinken, announce a historic measure in collaboration with Colombia, Panama, and other regional partners to reduce irregular migration to the United States.

It involves the implementation of Migrant Processing Centers in Colombian, Panamanian territory, and other future locations where officials will be able to receive information from migrants and offer possible legal pathways for Latin Americans to the United States and legal migration options in several countries in the region.

This will allow the United States to process immigration applications in the centers, before the migrants try to cross to the southern border of the country.

According to a State Department spokesperson, “this measure seeks to offer protection and help to the vulnerable populations,” especially victims of forced displacement.

The aim is to allow migration to be safe, orderly and humane. Migrants will learn about the options that can be applied to migrate legally to the United States, such as a temporary work visa, asylum or humanitarian visa, or family reunification.

“It is an alternative for people to avoid taking irregular roads, roads hand in hand with traffickers and criminal organizations,” said a State Department spokesperson. She added that it is the “conflict, violence, persecution and violations of human rights that force people to take these dangerous routes to reach the United States.”

This measure of United States processing centers will be implemented later in Canada and Spain where legal immigration options will also be offered in those countries in addition to the regular migration alternatives to the United States.

This announcement comes weeks after the Mayorkas Secretary of National Security met with the Foreign Minister of Colombia Álvaro Leyva and Panama, in the midst of the crisis and the increase in irregular crossings of hundreds of migrants in the Darién Gap.

 

 

The United States will eliminate the use of Title 42, the temporary health measure implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic that allows the expulsion of migrants without allowing them to apply for asylum. Once it is eliminated, the U.S. will continue to expel undocumented immigrants who cross the border irregularly under Title 8.

According to the spokesperson for the Department of State, “the end of Title 42 does not mean that the border is open,” and warned that those who do not use the legal migratory paths to the United States, “will be expelled from the country, additionally they will have a prohibition to re-enter the United States” for 5 years, as well as legal prosecutions.”

Panama

Panama’s migration ministry posted a video interview where the country’s migration director asked that Colombia increase its commitment on the issue of migrants, as reported by EcoTV Panama.

“Panama will continue to make efforts within its capacities on the issue of migration, while Colombia will continue to do nothing,” said Samira Gozaine.

The General Director of the National Migration Service of Panama, Samira Gozaine, called on Colombia for a greater commitment to prevent the migration crisis in the Darién jungle, a dangerous journey that threatens the lives of those who try to cross it.

On the journey through the Darien jungle, migrants come from all over the world. So far this year, the authorities have had 35 alerts and a total of more than 102 alerts for terrorists, murderers, drug traffickers, rapists, pedophiles, among others.

Panama requests support from the U.S.

Samira Gozaine also reiterated that Panama has requested greater assistance and help from the United States, due to the fact that the budget of the National Migration Service and trust fund has been applied to confront the region’s current reality.

“We have requested assistance to be able to continue supporting these flows of people and give them the humanitarian attention that this humanitarian corridor requires. In addition, Senafront has prepared itself to continue the frontal fight against organized crime. We are few but efficient and have a lot of commitment,” asserted the Director of Immigration.

 

 

Gozaine claims that Colombia provides information that Panama requires on the passage of migrants, however, “the information arrives a month after the migrants have already left and in totally inadequate proportions,” she declared.

“Less than 50% of the numbers that we maintain are those that they report to us from Colombia. Meanwhile, Panama passes the information on where the migrants are going, but the report is requested beforehand because we want to know how many people stay in the jungle, we don’t know how many die,” she told during the En Contexto program.

Improvements in Collaboration

Refugees International conducted an in-depth report on the management of mixed migratory flows in the region. The organization states that the Colombian government has made significant and commendable efforts to provide integration and regularization options to millions of migrants; “however there is still a long way.” The organization’s detailed report offers specific recommendations for improvements in migration processes in the region for Colombia, Panama and the United States.

Regional Processing Centers

The Biden administration will establish regional processing centers throughout Latin America. These centers will be used to pre-screen individuals to assess eligibility for entry into the United States through refugee resettlement, humanitarian parole programs, family reunification or other lawful pathways.

End of Title 42

The pandemic era policy known as Title 42, which has been used over 2.7 million times to quickly expel migrants is expected to end on May 11.

“Working with our neighbors in the region, we can and will reduce the number of migrants who reach our southern border,” Mayorkas told reporters Thursday. “The regional processing centers will be a critical addition to the programs and processes DHS has in place for qualifying individuals to obtain authorization to enter the United States before arriving at our borders.”

International organizations will oversee the new processing centers, which will be established in several countries like Colombia, Guatemala and in heavily-trafficked areas like Panama’s Darien Gap. Migrants will be able to make an appointment on their phones ahead of time before visiting the closest regional processing center.

To learn more, visit:

US State Department Fact Sheet on New Migration Management Plan.

Filling in the Gap-Alternatives for Migrants in the periphery of Colombia

 


Dr. Soledad Quartucci | Founder

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