Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
April 4, 2005
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.
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:
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.
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.