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Panama and US sign agreement to repatriate irregular migrants

Panama, Jun 29 (Prensa Latina) Panamanian President-elect Jose Raul Mulino announced the signing an agreement with the United States to repatriate irregular migrants who arriving in the country through the Darien jungle.

A press release from the new president’s office stated that the deal will be penned after a meeting with US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who will attend Mulino’s presidential inauguration on July 1.

The future head of State announced the measure during a visit to a temporary reception center for migrants in Lajas Blancas, in Darien province, on the border with Colombia.

Mulino pointed out that this humanitarian crisis affects the country in many aspects, including security, health care, the environment, and the economy. At the same time, he stated that caring for illegal travelers has cost the State more than 100 million dollars.

He told reporters about the agreement, which establishes an orderly process of repatriation of all migrants who arrive in Panama without a passport, with the cost of the transfer to be paid by the United States.

The National Border Service informed that between 1,000 and 1,400 people, mostly children and women, arrive in the Lajas Blancas camp every day after a dangerous journey through the jungle of the so-called Darien Gap.

Mulino described the humanitarian crisis in these migrant camps as devastating.