In the midst of crisis, immigration agency gets a new director

The immigration agency has a new director at a time when country is overrun by illegal aliens in transit.

The new director is Gisela María Yockchen Mora, the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública said Friday.

The Dirección General de  Migración y Extranjería has been under temporary leadership since long-time director general Kathya Rodríguez Araica left in May.

Ms. Yockchen

Ms. Yockchen

Unlike her predecessor, Ms. Yockchen is not a lawyer. She is trained in economics and is reported to be an expert in banking and finance.

To say that the country’s immigration system is in disarray would be an understatement. After more than 8,000 Cubans spent time in the country with temporary visas on their way to the United States, thousands of Africans also managed to gain entry.

Although Cubans who arrive by land are welcomed in the United States due to a Cold War law, the Africans are not.

Thousands are reported living in camps along the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua. There also are reports of traffickers moving dozens of Africans each day through Nicaragua even though the government there had closed the border to them officially.

The Africans cross Costa Rica’s southern border illegally, too, but with the help of locals. Sources have told A.M. Costa Rica that some are pretending to be black residents of Costa Rica with the appropriate fake passports and cédulas.

The central government seems confused as to what to do even though some African countries have agreed to repatriate their citizens.

The ministry said little more about Ms. Yockchen’s background, except that she is 41, worked in processing documents in the  Dirección General de  Migración y Extranjería and that she has worked within the ministry since 2008.

An online source said she had a master’s degree in business administration.

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