Trek to US Leaves Thousands of Cuban Migrants Stranded in Panama - NBC Chicago
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Trek to US Leaves Thousands of Cuban Migrants Stranded in Panama

Officials say there are more than 2,700 Cuban migrants in the country

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    Trek to US  Leaves Thousands of Cuban Migrants Stranded in Panama
    File/AP
    File image of Cuban migrants at a temporary shelter in La Cruz, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016.

    Thousands of undocumented Cuban migrants are stranded in Panama, straining humanitarian agencies amid fears that the United States' immigration policy could soon change, NBC News reported.

    According to Panamanian government figures, there are more than 2,700 Cuban migrants in the country. About 1,400 of those are in one camp in Paso Canoas, a border town that spills into neighboring Costa Rica.

    There is an increased police presence at the border crossing, though it's unclear how many migrants the officers — some in riot gear — have actually stopped.

    When President Barack Obama announced in December 2014 that the U.S. and Cuba would move toward restoring diplomatic ties, it sparked a new wave of rumors that U.S. immigration policy regarding Cubans would change sooner rather than later — leading many of the migrants to risk the journey through Central America.