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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration > What We Are Saying > Fact Sheets and Newsletters > 2005
Fact Sheet
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Washington, DC
April 4, 2005

Refugee Admissions Program for Latin America and the Caribbean

Background

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.

Cuban Program

At present, the majority of refugees processed in the region are Cuban. The refugee program is one component of the U.S.-Cuba Migration Agreement that calls for the approval 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 UN 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. In FY 2004, another 577 Colombian refugees were resettled in the U.S.

FY 2005 Admissions Program

The FY 2005 ceiling for refugee admissions from Latin America and the Caribbean is 5,000. Of these, the majority will be Cubans processed through the in-country program.



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