Immigration officials in Costa Rican officials recently reported over 1,200 migrants have crossed into the country illegally from Panama after attacking a government office on the border.
Security minister Gustavo Mata said last week that migrants from Cuba and several unidentified African nations forced their way into Costa Rica at Paso Canoas on the Latin America nation's southern frontier. He says they damaged a vehicle and clashed with police, before order was restored resulting in many of those involved being detained and sent back to Panama. A few managed to escape but are still being sought.
Costa Rica shut its border in December while 7,802 Cubans became stranded on their journey north to the U.S. after Nicaragua on the north closed its border. Last month, the last of the Cubans were flown to Mexico and El Salvador to continue their trip to the U.S., where they will be admitted under current U.S. policy that favors Cuban migrants over those from most other nations. .
Panama says 2,329 more Cubans are still in shelters near its border with Costa Rica.
Americans have been seeing an increase in illegal border crossing involving migrants from countries other than Mexico and Central America, the traditional source of illegal immigrants who primarily enter the U.S. to seek better economic conditions.
More than 500 Cuban and African immigrants hoping to reach the United States live at this school while waiting for admission to the U.S.
Border Patrol agents have been seeing more Middle Easterners including several groups of Syrians who were traveling on fake passports. It is feared that some may now be sneaking in with the Cubans to take advantage of favorable status from those fleeing Castro's communist regime.
Recent Presidential candidate and Florida senator Marco Rubio wants to end special refugee status for Cuban immigrants. The Republican senator asked the Senate to pass a bill that would end the benefits Cuban refugees automatically get when they reach the United States. He claims too many Cubans have abused the program.
He also told a recent gathering of Newspaper Editors, including the Sun Bay that that he "believes the 47-year-old law that fast tracks Cubans for permanent U.S. residence should be "re-examined."
One official in the U.S. intelligence community said the recent surge in immigrants from "far away nations" including some with ties to Muslim terrorism in the Middle East and Africa underscores the need to seal the borders better until a better method of screening is implemented. He said the measures should also, "include Cubans."