Cuba Illegal Exit
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Cubans in Panama ‘Irregularly’ Will Have to Leave the Country

Cubans in Panama ‘Irregularly’ Will Have to Leave the Country / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Miami, 13 January 2017 — The more than 100 Cubans who are in
Panama illegally must leave, according to the director of
Panama’s National Immigration Service, Javier Carrillo. “They will not
be deported, but immigration law applies,” the senior official
told 14ymedio.

Under that law, migrants “in an irregular situation” could be returned
by air to Cuba or taken to Colombia from where they entered Panamanian
territory. More than 80 Cubans are in the shelter set up by Caritas to
welcome the immigrants.

To a question about the situation of Cubans who do not have a visa to
return to Colombia, Carrillo responded: “Is your country not a place?”

“What Obama did is abominable. We did not expect it. We may have some
hope when Donald Trump takes power,” says Andrés, one of the Cubans who
have set out on the long road from the island to the US.

To a question about the situation of Cubans who do not have a visa to
return to Colombia, Carrillo responded: “Is your country not a place?”

According to Deacon Victor Luis Berrio, head of Caritas in Panama,
Cubans are not illegal immigrants but “special immigrants.”

“We are waiting for the change of government in Washington. In the worst
case, the Church will intercede in their favor so that they are treated
in a special way,” he speculates.

According to statistics from Panama’s National Migration Service
provided to 14ymedio, during 2016 more than 750 foreigners were returned
to their countries of origin. Of these, only 5 were Cubans.

Most Cubans who arrive in Panama have entered from the border with
Colombia, where they travel after traveling without a visa from Cuba to
Guyana or the Lesser Antilles.

Two large groups of Cubans were transferred through an airlift that the
Government of Panama agreed with Mexico last year. In total, about 5,000
Cubans left on those occasions, but the flow of migrants continued.

“So far [Panama] Immigration has not told us anything nor have officials
come here. We have to wait, we have no choice, “says Andres.

Source: Cubans in Panama ‘Irregularly’ Will Have to Leave the Country /
14ymedio – Translating Cuba –
translatingcuba.com/cubans-in-panama-irregularly-will-have-to-leave-the-country-14ymedio/

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