Migration authorities in Colombia deport thousands of Cubans

Refugee and Migrant Crisis

Migration authorities in Colombia deport thousands of Cubans

Colombian authorities have deported over 5,000 migrants, trying to get to the United States via Colombia.

CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports.

The Haitians are boarding a boat that takes them across the Gulf of Darién from the Colombian city of Turbo to Capurgana, a small town near Panama.

Crossing into Panama, they begin a long trek north through Central America to their final destination-the United States.

That is the plan for thousands of migrants playing a waiting game near the Colombia-Panama border. The majority are Haitians and Cubans-though authorities say some come all the way from Africa and Asia.

When Panama closed its border with Colombia in May to stop the flow of migrants it stranded thousands in Colombia.

Local authorities declared a state of emergency. They said a total of 3,000 Cubans live in these temporary shelters in Turbo, planning their next move.

The Colombian government is now asking Cubans to leave voluntarily or face deportation-back to Cuba or their country of origin.

Many of the Cuban migrants said they’re afraid all the hardships they’ve endured will be for nothing.

The Cuban government said they will take back the Cubans without retaliation.

But this weekend, hundreds of Cuban migrants boarded boats in Turbo to take their chances crossing the dense jungles of Panama.

They may not get very far. Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama have all closed their borders to undocumented migrants. Colombia has refused migrant requests to airlift them to Mexico choosing instead to expel them. Colombian immigration officials said they’ve deported nearly 6,000 undocumented migrants in the last two months alone.