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US on track to break Nicaragua deportation record

U.S.A.US on track to break Nicaragua deportation record

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Por Jake Kincaid

Nov 25 (Reuters) – The United States began deporting a record number of Nicaraguan migrants this year, data reviewed by Reuters showed, as people tried to avoid crackdown on President Daniel Ortega’s dissent. Central Americans flee the country.

Erlinton Ortiz, one of more than 5,000 Nicaraguans who returned from the United States since 2019, was deported last year for being returned to the hands of a government that Washington has accused of civil rights abuses, corruption and rigging. was accused.

Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla and anti-North American country during the Cold War, argues that he is defending Nicaragua from opponents who conspire with foreign powers to overthrow it.

Ortiz reported that he fled the Central American nation to seek asylum in the United States in 2019, after friends from the university, whom he helped organize protests against Ortega, were arrested and jailed which, according to critics, is used for torture. Prisoner.

But instead of sympathizing with his plight, he explained that he was expelled after a brief appearance before a New York judge.

Manuel Orozco, a migration expert at the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue think tank, said the United States needed to align asylum decisions with its foreign policy regarding Nicaragua, which President Joe Biden this month called “repressive and accused of committing a derogatory act”.

Washington banned members of the Ortega government from entering the country in response to a vote it said was rigged in favor of the president.

Orozco said that Nicaragua’s asylum seekers face different threats than other Central American countries, where rampant crime and poverty, rather than partisan politics, forced migrants in particular to emigrate to the United States. Is.

Under US law, people who seek asylum there cannot reside because they are fleeing criminal gang violence. They must convince authorities that they have a credible fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality or political views.

“In Nicaragua, this state is about terrorism,” Orozco said. The White House did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

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According to data from Syracuse’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRACS), Nicaragua’s number of immigration cases has skyrocketed from 4,145 in 2018, when the country was engulfed in mass protests, to more than 34,000 last month . A research group at Siracusa University.

Over 19,000 files were added this year, a record number.

More than 60% of Nicaragua’s deportation proceedings accounted for their expulsion from the United States in 2019, when more than 14,000 of those cases were presented.

Only 1,253 Nicaraguans were allowed to remain in the United States, and many of the 2019 files remain unresolved, TRACS data shows.

After waiting five months in detention centers for his trial, Ortiz reported that he had been deported in January 2020. He explained that he did not have a lawyer, that he did not understand why he was deported, and destroyed his United States court documents. That the Nicaraguan authorities could not use them against you.

Reuters was unable to independently verify Ortiz’s account.

He said that when he arrived in Nicaragua, he was taken to an interrogation room, where police told him he would be charged with terrorism and that he would have to wait for a new appointment at his parents’ home.

Ortiz fled to a safe house and left Nicaragua to try his luck seeking asylum for a second time in the United States. He was released on parole in July and now awaits his next hearing in California.

The Nicaraguan government did not respond to Reuters requests for comment on the matter.

Officials captured more than 50,000 Nicaraguans trying to cross the US border illegally this year, up from 2,291 in 2020, according to US Customs and Border Protection data.

Nicaraguans were a fraction of the immigrants in the US immigration courts. For decades, annual deportation requests were less than 5,000. But in FY21, according to TRACS data, it recorded the sixth-highest number, just after Mexico.

(Reporting by Jake Kincaid; Editing in Spanish by Ral Cortés Fernández and Javier Lira)

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