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Director of National Migration Service (SNM): “the measures that will be applied at airports will not be for all foreigners, nor for specific nationalities, but that security personnel will have the power to decide to whom they apply.”
The Government of Panama announced that starting today it will increase deportations and expulsions of irregular migrants to their countries of origin, one of the measures to contain the growing flows.
The announcement was made by Panama’s National Migration Institute, outlining increased border control and surveillance, improvements to migrant reception centers, and coordination with other countries to control irregular migration flows. Additionally, the government plans to strengthen the asylum process and ensure human rights protections for migrants.
In a press conference with Security Minister Juan Manuel Pino, the director of the National Migration Service (SNM), Samira Gozaine, indicated that with the support of the National Aeronaval Service (Senan) they will double or triple these air operations.
“Authorities will increase deportations of people with criminal records and slash the number of days some tourists are allowed to stay from 90 to 15 days”, Samira said.
Samira Gozaine, directora de @migracionpanama, anunció las nuevas medidas migratorias que implementará Panamá. Se reducirá el período de turismo de 90 a 15 días, “no para todas las nacionalidades y según perfilamiento”, y se exigirá solvencia económica de mil dólares en adelante. pic.twitter.com/jHoFdG4b75
According to official data more than 350,000 migrants have crossed the dangerous Darien Gap so far this year. The figure exceeds by more than 100 thousand what was considered a record in 2022.
Gozaine indicated that from June to date, 452 foreigners have been deported and expelled, including 157 Colombians, in an operation called Escudo, aimed at confronting human traffickers who operate in Darién and to seize weapons and drugs in that border area with Colombia.
Other actions against the rise of migration´s flow will be through the building of installations in the border areas. This way the authorities aimed at alleviating the impact of illegal transits on indigenous communities and the environment. Migrants will all also be separated from the local communities.
Panama will also increase financial thresholds at its checkpoints, requiring people expecting to stay 90 days to show proof of funds of at least $1,000, rather than the $500 it previously expected.
Gozaine explained that the measures that will be applied at airports will not be for all foreigners, nor for specific nationalities, but that security personnel will have the power to decide to whom they apply.
In several forums, the Executive has explained the efforts to take biometric data and offer health care, food and lodging in reception stations and in the native communities, with a cost that exceeds 70 million dollars in recent years, something unsustainable for the economy and that requires regional collaboration.