Colombia Adopts Measures To Battle Migrant Crisis

Colombia adopts measures to battle migrant crisis

BOGOTA, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 3rd Augst,2016) : Colombia will undertake emergency measures against illegal migration, including deporting thousands of Cuban and other migrants and reinforcing its borders following a massive influx of people bound for the United States, the government said late on Tuesday. "The national government has given the instruction to initiate an emergency plan" to stop "this irregular migration from proceeding through our territory," migration director Christian Kruger said at the presidential residence, following an emergency government meeting that included President Juan Manuel Santos.

Colombia will reinforce its southwestern border with Ecuador and along the Gulf of Uraba near Panama, where migrants have traveled in the hope of making it to the United States. The plan will involve military and police on the border and include prosecuting those who knowingly provide transportation and housing to undocumented migrants, Kruger said. Migrants may voluntarily request deportation, he added, and be granted safe passage to their home countries or to the last country they were in before entering Colombia -- Cuba or Ecuador for many of them. Otherwise, the authorities will proceed with "mandatory deportation." Colombia has deported more than 5,800 migrants over the past two months, most of them from Haiti and Cuba, according to official figures released last week.