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El Salvador Targets Nigerian Migrants to US With $1,000 Tax

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El Salvador is charging passengers from Nigeria a $1,000 fee, in an apparent bid to curb migration to the US through the Central American country.

People traveling on passports from Nigeria 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 Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA), which is in charge of El Salvador International Airport, has implemented a new Airport Improvement Tariff that will be effective from October 23rd, 2023 for passengers from certain countries (listed below), regardless of their country of residence or place of departure who are traveling in transit through El Salvador Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez International Airport. Prior to boarding, passengers will be required to pay a new tariff imposed by the Salvadorian authorities, in the amount of 1,130 USD (1,000 USD + 13% taxes) per passenger,” the statement said.

“The Tariff payment will be a mandatory requirement prior to boarding your flight to El Salvador International Airport.”

The money raised will be used to improve the nation’s main international airport, the authority added.

Aviation sources say many migrants from Nigeria have begun make it to the US via Central American countries like El Salvador.

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.

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