El Salvador is charging passengers from 50 countries inAfrica or from India a $1,000 fee ($1170 including VAT), in an apparent bid to curb migration to the US through the Central American country which is used as a transit point for Nicaragua.
People traveling on passports from India or any one of more than 50 African nations will be obliged to pay the fee, El Salvador’s port authority said in a statement on its website dated Oct. 20.
The money raised will be used to improve the nation’s main international airport, the authority added.
Had an excellent meeting with @nayibbukele. We discussed El Salvador’s support for the international mission in Haiti, efforts to promote foreign direct investment in El Salvador, bilateral cooperation on rule of law, and mutual efforts to address irregular migration. -BAN pic.twitter.com/cLcCOHYlAT
— Brian A. Nichols (@WHAAsstSecty) October 26, 2023
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele this week met Brian Nichols, US assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, to discuss “efforts to address irregular migration,” among other topics. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol encountered a record 3.2 million migrants across the country in fiscal year 2023, which ended in September.
Many migrants from Africa and elsewhere make it to the US via Central America.
Including VAT, the additional cost is $1,130 from travelers from the affected countries. The new fee took effect Oct. 23 and was imposed due to increased use of the country’s main international airport, according to the statement.
Airlines will be required to notify Salvadoran authorities daily of passengers who come from a list of 57 countries in Africa, and India.
In recent months, the increase in passengers from Africa and India transiting through the Salvadoran airport was notable.
Many citizens of these countries travel to Madrid, Spain, where they take the Avianca flight to Bogotá, Colombia, and then take a connection to El Salvador, where they continue the route to Managua.
Upon the arrival of these flights, there are even CEPA or Immigration personnel accompanying the passengers to direct them once to the departure lounge bound for Managua.
Nicaragua does not require visas from citizens of Africa, India, Haiti and Cuba, making it a crossing point for migrants seeking to enter the United States irregularly.
The Nicaraguan press confirmed that in just two days, between Friday, October 20 and 21, the entry of 27 flights from Haiti was recorded. The Confidencial newspaper pointed out that, if each aircraft has a capacity of 50 to 220 passengers, in two days between 1,350 and 5,959 Haitians entered Nicaragua.
Manuel Orozco, director of the Inter-American Dialogue, denounced that Daniel Ortega’s regime does “business” with the Haitian migration crisis by charging $200 per passenger who uses the Managua International Airport.
Orozco pointed out that this year more than 200,000 people have used the airport in Managua as a bridge to migrate to the United States.
Colombian airline Avianca, which is one of the hub’s biggest users, began notifying travelers that passengers from the list of countries must pay the mandatory fee before boarding flights to El Salvador.
Source: NDTV, elmudndo.sv