Immigration Underwent ‘360-Degree Turn’

December 22, 2006

It was a roller-coaster year at Immigration.

Reforms to crack down on illegal immigration – which, after years of debate, were finally approved in 2005 – were set for implementation in August after an eightmonth grace period designed to let the General Immigration Administration prepare.

However, President Oscar Arias’ arrival on the scene in May turned that plan on its ear.

The longtime opponent of the new law, which gives Immigration police greater leverage in finding and deporting illegal immigrants, urged the Legislative Assembly to postpone it while the new administration came up with a new set of reforms. These efforts were in vain, and the law took effect in August as scheduled.

But Immigration Director Mario Zamora, who criticized the previous administration for failing to designate extra funds for the organization to implement the costly law, said he simply wouldn’t be able to comply. His team began drafting new reforms, which, at year’s end, were almost ready to submit to the Legislative Assembly. The latest draft included greater protections for immigrations’ rights, harsher punishments for human trafficking and trade, and a monthly tax for all foreign residents to help pay for education and health care.

Getting anything done at Immigration required lines and waits that were longer and longer as the year proceeded. New foreign residency cards, or cédulas, were introduced, but faulty printing caused many recipients to return their cards in October; meanwhile, those renewing their cédulas were told they’d have to wait 10 months or more for an appointment. Zamora issued a decree late in the year automatically renewing all foreigners’ cédulas, and said he was working to both open regional Immigration offices and to allow passport and cédula transactions to be conducted at Banco de Costa Rica locations.

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Costa Rica celebrates 150 years of free education
Costa Rica
1 views
Costa Rica
1 views

Costa Rica celebrates 150 years of free education

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 22, 2019

Costa Rica on Monday celebrated 150 years of free, obligatory and state-paid education with a ceremony at the Escuela Jesús…

Alajuelense eliminated in the Costa Rican Clausura
Soccer
7 views
Soccer
7 views

Alajuelense eliminated in the Costa Rican Clausura

AFP and The Tico Times - April 21, 2019

Liga Deportiva Alajuelense tied 2-2 against the reigning champion, Club Sport Herediano, and was eliminated from the semifinals of the…

Costa Rica bets on ending fossil fuel use by 2050
Climate Change
47 views
Climate Change
47 views

Costa Rica bets on ending fossil fuel use by 2050

Marco Sibaja / AFP - April 21, 2019

Eric Orlich and his wife Gioconda Rojas own two electric vehicles, which they charge at home in the garage thanks…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!