Work begins for new policy covering foreigners here

Representatives from more than a dozen government agencies met Monday to begin drafting an integrated immigration policy.

The new Consejo Nacional de Migración has as a priority the formulation of such a policy, in part to address the number of illegal immigrants here.

There were no reports of definitive action at the meeting Monday, but there have been working groups that met individually in the past on certain topics. The work is being furthered by international agencies, non-profit organizations and religious groups in Costa Rica.

The Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería already has offered an amnesty to four categories of foreigners here. Among these are persons who have children born in Costa Rica. Among the goals of a new immigration law that went into effect two years go is an effort to integrate foreigners into Costa Rican society and culture. That was one reason legal residents were required to affiliate with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. However, a majority did not.

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