These emigrants do not want Colombia as the place for living or applying for refuge; but as the route to arrive to the United States
BOGOTÁ.— At least 84 Cubans, who remain in the town of Turbo, in Colombia, having an irregular immigration status, have voluntarily requested their deportation, confirmed the Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín, after ensuring that none of those Cubans have been asked to stay in Colombia.
Including these emigrants, they add up to nearly two thousand who don’t want Colombia for living or taking refuge; but as a route to reach the United States. That's no secret, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, quoted by PL.
According to Holguín, the aim is to promote deportation voluntarily, in which case, safe-conducts are issued for the people to leave Colombia within ten days maximum. This is what we want to happen, she highlighted.
Referring to the requests for refuge, she said that require a comprehensive research, and the answers to each applicant, take between one and two months, meanwhile a safe-conduct is given to them.
We want to solve this situation in the best way possible, that people take voluntarily the decision to leave the Colombian territory, the minister added. She also said that the process is assisted by the Ombudsman Office to ensure the respect for human rights.
At a press conference, Holguín mentioned a report by UNHCR (United Nations Agency for Refugees), which concluded that Cubans concentrated in Turbo not require international protection.
In the case of illegal emigrants, we have two alternatives: they are returned to the place where they entered, providing they meet certain requirements (many came from Ecuador), or to Cuba, which is their homeland, she said.
In addition, she reiterated that Colombia does not enable air crossing to Mexico, one of the requests of those individuals, PL added.
Previously, the Colombian Director of Immigration Christian Krüger reported on the government's decision to deport Cubans who are illegally in Turbo, upon issuance of a court order, who were first offered the possibility of accepting this procedure voluntarily.
In his appearance the Chancellor said that they are bringing forward the researches, together with the Attorney’s office, to dismantle the networks or mafias dedicated to illicit trafficking.
According to the Voz weekly newspaper, this scourge is increasing, because only in the last six months were detected at least 9,377 people of different nationalities in illegal immigration status, and they were deported in majority of the cases.
Turbo area is used as a bridge to Central America and then to US territory, because of its privileged geographical position.
Cuba holds that the Cuban Adjustment Act and the policy of dry feet-wet feet in force in the United States, are the responsible of that irregular flow, because they give free way to Cubans to obtain US residency after stepping down in the United States.
Translated by ESTI