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[FACT SHEET] Report "Irregular Migration Flows to the Americas from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean"

  March 9, 2017

The full report is available here.

Extra-continental migration: Most of the migrants to the region coming from outside the Americas come from Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq and Sri Lanka.

Cuban Migration: Since the beginning of talks to restore diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, there has been a significant flow of Cuban nationals who have moved to Ecuador, a country that had withdrawn entry requirements for Cubans. Flows through Central America and Mexico to the United States also remained high.

Haitian migration: there was a growth in the number of Haitians migrating to Latin America during the period studied, mainly as a result of the Haiti earthquake of 2010. The main destination was Brazil, which granted the Haitians migratory stay permits for humanitarian reasons. By the end of 2015, the Brazilian government authorized the granting of permanent residence visas to 43,871 Haitians who had been admitted and settled in the last four years.

Main Conclusions

1. Irregular migration transcends issues of a bilateral or regional nature: it includes countries of origin, transit and destination.
2. Irregular flows into the Americas of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean must be analyzed according to their specific origins and characteristics.
3. Lack of documentation, language barriers, and lack of consular and diplomatic representations make it difficult for national authorities, international organizations and civil society to manage migration.
4. The final most likely destination of flows is the United States, followed to a lesser extent by Brazil for Haitians, Africans and Asians. For the Cubans, the other preferred destinations are Mexico and Ecuador.
5. Migrants are much more likely to find a relative, friend, or fellow national that facilitates their immigration to the United States than to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Reference: S-004/17