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Tuesday, May 21 2019 @ 10:50 PM UTC

Panama has adopted strict measures against Nicaraguan migrants

Immigration IssuesPANAMA CITY, Panama (ACAN-EFE) - The government of Panama has adopted strict immigration measures on the border with Costa Rica, faced with an increasing number of Nicaraguans who enter Panamanian territory on trips and then stay in the country illegally, said an official source. The spokesman for the National Immigration Service of Panama (SNM), Didacio Camargo, said Panama adopted these measures on 26 January 2011, and the problem arises when these illegal Nicaraguan citizens should be deported to their country by air. "The deportation can not be done by land due to the immigration controls established by the government of Costa Rica, and therefore this turns into a something very costly for the Panamanian state," said Camargo. Camargo explained that whenever there is a deportation, the Nicaraguans must first be transported from the province of Chiriqui to the capital of Panama City, and then sent via air to Nicaragua. As a result, Immigration has found it necessary to require that those Nicaraguans who intend to enter Panama via land for more than thirty days to have return air tickets in their possession.

"In addition, those Nicaraguan citizens who enter Panamanian territory by land must have with them a valid transit visa valid for 30 days issued by the consulate of Costa Rica in Managua," he added. Camargo said the agency spoke with the regular passenger transportation operators, who were warned that the measures adopted are with the companies that conduct tours to Panama. He said that just in January 2011 under these circumstances nine Nicaraguans were deported, which cost the Panamanian state $3,197 dollars, and during the year 2010 a total of 752 aliens were deported, most of them Nicaraguans, and they were returned to their respective countries for a total cost of $443,292 dollars.

Earlier this week, the Vice President of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), the Sandinista legislator Jacinto Suarez criticized the immigration measures taken by the Panamanian government against Nicaraguan migrants. "The restrictions taken against Nicaraguans are ridiculous and it affects traders who come to make purchases, affecting their own business activities," said Suarez. (La Prensa)

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