Goal of immigration policy is to regulate and support new arrivals

Government officials have initiated the country’s first ever migratory policy that they say should enable a better system of regulating and supporting immigrants into Costa Rica.

Freddy Montero, head of the relatively new Consejo Nacional de Migración presented the plan on Friday to Vice President Alfio Piva and the deputy minister of the Gobernación y Policía.

Involving a more detailed framework than similar measures before, the 82-page outline promises to more effectively manage migrant populations and allow them a fluid transition. Costa Rican officials backing the new policy say it has provisions to involve immigrants in positively contributing to the country’s economic and social landscapes.

Montero said that immigration has had an influence on the country’s development for the past 40 years, but admitted that the government has failed to confront migration in a useful way.

The proposed 10-year guideline is designed to attract participation from a variety of domestic and international agencies. This emphasis on cooperation was evident by the diversity of boards and groups represented at the Hotel Radisson conference room for the policy’s unveiling. Since it’s beginning in 2010, the migration board has stated that it wants to strengthen the link between migration and national policy and that it looks to ensure the human rights of immigrants.

One of the three essential parts of the policy says that the participating institutions shall give support to vulnerable groups like human trafficking victims, refugees, minors, and marginalized groups.

Officials are calling upon both private and public institutions whose functions overlap with migration to see any potential challenges as opportunities that can enhance their respective industries. They said they believe policy can directly help in fields of education, public health, and overall culture by bringing in more diversity and support.

Montero, an official in the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería, said the United Nations was also involved in the project’s incorporation. At the end of Friday’s ceremony he thanked officials there for their contribution, as well as the support of President Chinchilla and Mario Zamora, security minister.

By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staf

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