The UK, the USA and the EU are turning back desperate, unfortunate peoples and transforming their countries into fortresses to keep them out. Yet another boat has capsized in the Mediterranean Sea, the latest of many disasters involving migrants heading to Europe.
Mexico is dealing with a migration phenomenon on four fronts. On one hand, 12 million Mexicans live in the United States. And on the other, every year hundreds of thousands of migrants make their way through the country, mainly Central Americans and in recent years also people from the Caribbean, Venezuelans and even Africans.
In the last six years, 5,650,000 Venezuelans have fled to Venezuela’s neighbouring nations.
In this region “there is a living laboratory, where insertion and absorption efforts are working. The new arrivals are turning what was seen as a burden into a contribution to the host communities and nations,” Eduardo Stein, head of the largest assistance programme for displaced Venezuelans, explained, setting an example in welcoming and integrating displaced populations, with shared benefits for the new arrivals and the nations that receive them. “This is the largest migration crisis in the history of Latin America,” Stein said.
Colombia stands out for receiving daily flows of hundreds and even thousands of Venezuelans, who already number almost 1.8 million in the country, and for providing them with Temporary Protection Status that grants them documentation and access to jobs, services and other rights. Iván Briscoe, regional head of the Brussels-based conflict observatory International Crisis Group, commented in the case of Colombia, “it has been impressive to receive almost two million Venezuelans, in a country of 50 million inhabitants, 40 percent of whom live in poverty.”