Friday, February 14, 2020

Regional Response to Venezuelan and Nicaraguan Migrants

The Migration Policy Institute has a new report on the regional response to Venezuelan and Nicaraguan migrants: "An Uneven Welcome: Latin American and Caribbean Responses to Venezuelan and Nicaraguan Migration."

Overall, Latin American and Caribbean countries have shown openness and even creativity in accommodating large-scale forced migration flows in a short period of time. This is particularly notable, given that most countries in the region had little recent experience receiving significant immigration. But what was once an open door to newcomers is becoming a more uneven welcome, as countries grapple with strains on already overtaxed public services, ranging from schools to hospitals, and continue to search for ways to effectively integrate new arrivals into local labor markets.
Looking at the map of how many Venezuelan migrants are in other countries is overwhelming. Not surprisingly, they often end up in the informal economy, then gradually resentment builds within the local population. There are just not enough jobs and resources to go around for a long period of time.

They call for more outside funding, which is critical:
Given the scale and speed of Venezuelan and Nicaraguan migration, international cooperation will have to play an important supporting role in helping national governments craft the right responses to these challenges. So far, global efforts to respond to these two crises—both the immediate needs of recent arrivals and the longer-term investment needs of schools, hospitals, housing, and other critical infrastructure and services—have fallen far short of expectations and of the needs on the ground.
With Nicaraguans, the focus is really on Costa Rica. It does not have the same regional scope as Venezuela.

If you're interested in this issue, you'll find this report to be worth your time--it gets into substantial detail about visas, employment, schools, etc. along with recommendations.


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