Visa Restriction Policy for Flight Operators Facilitating Irregular Migration

The State Department today launched a new visa restriction policy targeting individuals running charter flights into Nicaragua designed primarily for irregular migrants.  In a growing trend, charter flight companies have been offering flights—and charging extortion-level prices—that put migrants onto a dangerous overland path north to the U.S. border.  Many of these migrants lack a legal basis for entering or remaining in the United States and are often returned to their home countries, having wasted significant personal resources and put themselves and their families at risk.

As part of our comprehensive approach to addressing irregular migration, the U.S. government is taking steps to impose visa restrictions under INA 212 (a)(3)(C) against owners, executives, and/or senior officials of companies providing charter flights into Nicaragua designed for use primarily by irregular migrants to the United States.  These charter flights and their operators target migrants and put them in harm’s way.  We are also engaging with governments in the region, as well as the private sector, to seek to eliminate this exploitative practice.

We urge Haitian, Cuban, and other would-be migrants to seek out the many safe and lawful pathways available to migrate to the United States.  This administration has led the largest expansion of lawful pathways in decades, and continues to enforce consequences, including removal to their home country, for those who do not use these pathways to come to the United States and who lack a legal basis to remain.  More information on lawful pathways can be found at .