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New American
March 3, 2020

Latin American Countries Helping U.S. Keep Out African Asylum Seekers
By Luis Miguel

According to a court data analysis conducted by Syracuse Universitys Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Cameroonians won U.S. asylum in 81 percent of cases in fiscal year 2019. By comparison, the rate of asylum granting for all nations was 29 percent for all nationalities. Other nationalities with high rates of acceptance included Ethiopians (77 percent), Eritreans (67 percent), and Nigerians (58 percent). Because being granted refugee status can take years of waiting and the Trump administration has cut the number of refugees it will accept many African migrants prefer taking their luck with the asylum option, which requires arriving in a South American country and then traveling to the U.S. southern border by land. Bolivia is currently the only country in the Americas to accept visitors from Cameroon and Eritrea without a visa. People from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria need a visa to enter any country in the Americas. More than 2,400 Cameroonians went to Ecuador in 2019, three times more than in 2018. This comes as citizens of Western nations gain a heightened sense of the critical nature of the border and migration issues.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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