Court to study legality of immigrant detentions

April 30, 2012

Immigrant’s rights groups are challenging the constitutionality of parts of Costa Rica’s immigration law.

While the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) is reviewing the case, it has ordered immigration officials to stop detaining foreigners suspected of being in the country illegally. The Sala IV also ordered a moratorium on immigration agents confiscating passports or travel documents of immigrants here, the daily La Nación reported.

As it stands, the current law allows immigration officials to detain individuals suspected of being in the country illegally for up to 24 hours. That 24-hour period, according to the law, “can be extended in certain situations.” It also allows for officials to retain foreigners’ passports and travel documents “with the goals of verifying their immigration status.”

Immigration Director Kathya Rodríguez told La Nación the moratorium on those two actions leaves officials with their “hands tied,” adding that detentions and the retention of travel documents are the “basic tools” the organization uses to handle cases of individuals suspected of being in the country illegally.

 Carlos Sandoval, who filed the legal challenge, told La Nación the Costa Rican Constitution allows an administrative body to detain individuals for up to 24 hours only if legal proceedings are started against the person.

You may be interested

Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Real Madrid nab third consecutive Champions title
Keylor Navas
70 views
Keylor Navas
70 views

Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Real Madrid nab third consecutive Champions title

Katherine Stanley - May 26, 2018

Costa Rica's star goalie, Keylor Navas, continued his historic march through world football as his club team, Real Madrid, won…

Adaptive surfing, part III: Riding the waves with Noah
sports
161 views
sports
161 views

Adaptive surfing, part III: Riding the waves with Noah

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 25, 2018

Part III in a series on adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I, about the country's association for disabled…

It’s frog orgy season
Environment and Wildlife
1262 views
Environment and Wildlife
1262 views

It’s frog orgy season

Lindsay Fendt - May 25, 2018

The rainy season is upon us. For many of us that means hiding indoors for the next few months, but for Costa…