U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration > What We Are Saying > Fact Sheets and Newsletters > 2006
Fact Sheet
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Washington, DC
May 9, 2006

Refugee Admissions Program for Latin America and the Caribbean


Since 1975, over 84,000 refugees from Latin American and Caribbean countries have resettled in the United States . Over 55,000 have come from Cuba , with other significant numbers from Haiti , Nicaragua , and El Salvador . Refugee admissions for the region totaled 3,555 in FY 2004 and 6,700 in FY 2005.

Cuban Program

At present, the bulk of all refugee processing in the region is in Cuba . The refugee program is a component of the U.S.-Cuba Migration Agreement that allows for the acceptance of at least 20,000 Cubans for permanent residence in the United States each year. Cubans eligible to apply for admission to the United States through the in-country refugee program under the Priority 2 (P-2) category include:

  • Former political prisoners
  • Members of persecuted religious minorities
  • Human rights activists
  • Forced labor conscripts during the period 1965-1968
  • Persons deprived of their professional credentials or subjected to other disproportionately harsh or discriminatory treatment resulting from their perceived or actual political or religious beliefs
  • Persons who have experienced or fear harm because of their relationship – family or social – to someone who falls under one of the preceding categories

In addition to individuals processed in-country, Cubans outside Cuba may be considered for resettlement if referred by the United Nationals High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or a U.S. Embassy.

Colombian Program

In FY 2002, PRM began the development of pilot programs to resettle in the United States vulnerable Colombian refugees located in Ecuador and Costa Rica . In FY 2003, 149 Colombian refugees were admitted to the United States for resettlement, and in FY 2004, another 577 Colombian refugees were admitted. However, the program has declined due to provisions of the Real ID Act, intended to prohibit entry to individuals who provided “material support to terrorists” were applied to Colombian refugees who had been forced to pay a “vacuna” (extorion payment), often under duress. In FY 2005, 323 Colombians were admitted for resettlement; in FY 2006 there will be approximately 50.

FY 2006 Admissions Program

The FY 2006 ceiling for refugee admissions from Latin America and the Caribbean is 5000. Of these the majority will be Cubans processed through the in-country program.

  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.