San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Immigration Reforms Hover in Limbo

Though a set of reforms to the controversial Immigration Law were presented last month to President Oscar Arias and his Cabinet, the Executive Branch has not yet submitted the bill to the Legislative Assembly.

As a result, the text of the reforms is still unavailable to the press and public.

However, Immigration Director Mario Zamora and Public Security Minister Fernando Berrocal said earlier this month that the bill will strengthen protections of human rights, expand the Immigration Police, make it easier for immigrants to legalize their status, and impose a monthly fee for foreigners to help support the public education and health systems (TT, Jan. 26).

The current law took effect in August 2006, though longtime opponent Arias sought unsuccessfully to delay its entrance into force. The bill was approved before Arias took office, despite the criticisms of the Catholic Church and human rights groups.


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