New U.S. restrictions target chartered flights migrants are taking into Nicaragua

Published: Monday, November 27, 2023 - 10:44am

The U.S. State Department is imposing new restrictions on chartered flights migrants are taking en route to the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The State Department says the new restrictions will target companies and people running chartered flights into Nicaragua. A growing number of migrants in Cuba and Haiti have purchased one-way tickets there as the first stop in a longer journey to the U.S. border. 

The agency says charter flight companies are charging "extortion-level prices" for the flights, and many of the migrants purchasing won’t be able to enter the U.S. legally if they make it to the border and will be returned home.

The restrictions are part of a larger effort by the U.S. government to tamp down migration through Latin American countries. A Human Rights Watch report found increased flight restrictions imposed at the behest of the U.S. in other parts of the continent have driven migrants to find more remote and dangerous routes like the Darien Gap — the rugged, roadless land bridge connecting South and Central America.

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