Costa Rican American - History


There have never been waves of migration from Costa Rica to the United States. The Immigration and Naturalization Service records indicate that very few Costa Ricans have actually tried to enter the country illegally. This is because, unlike other Hispanic groups, they have not been forced to emigrate to the U.S. for political oppression or extreme economic circumstances. Most Costa Ricans living in the United States have settled in the U.S. for any of the following reasons: they have married American citizens and decided to move to the U.S.; they were raised by their families in the United States; they have been hired to work in the United States after completing a degree from an American university; they have found research opportunities that may not be as readily available in their country, or they have come to various jobs and trades in the United States.

Since 1931 only 57,661 Costa Ricans have immigrated to the United States. Hence, the number of Costa Rican emigrants has been increasing very slowly. This is a very different from the pattern of emigration from most other Central American countries. In fact, the other two countries in this region that have a continuously slow rate of emigration are Belize and Panama.

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