In a few months, Costa Rica went from receiving 100 extra-continental migrants per day to receiving 50 or less.
There could be different motives behind the considerable decrease (compared to the crisis experienced since the end of 2015). The Directorate General of Immigration and Nationality believes that they could have changed the routes, due to the closure of the border in Nicaragua.
Moreover, migrants could be stopping along the way due to climate issues or, perhaps, they are stranded in other countries waiting for resources, deposited by relatives to continue the journey.
Between April and December last year, Costa Rica accepted 20,208 migrants from Africa, China, Cuba or Haiti.
From the December 23rd we saw a very important drop. After 700 people per week, now they are from 0 to 50,”
said Gisela Yockhen Mora, director of Migration.
According to the official, there is no time for complacency and they appeal to a contingency plan in case of a reactivation of the massive migratory flow towards the United States.
The operation will continue throughout 2017. The centers will be maintained in each of the borders, until we are sure that this immigration situation has been overcome,”
said the official.
USA, the main destination for migrants, faces political change in the face of Donald Trump’s presidency. Immigration authorities are increasingly aware that foreigners file requests for refuge or immigration status to stay in Costa Rica.
There are currently 3 active shelters: Buenos Aires (south), Golfito and Peñas Blancas. On January 12th, there were no people in the first two shelters.