The Republic of Cabo Verde (or Cape Verde) consists of 10 islands and 5 islets off the west coast of Africa. Originally a colony of Portugal, Cabo Verde gained its independence in 1975. It currently runs under a multi-party system with both a prime minister and a president.
Despite the area’s lack of natural resources and droughts, the country found stability. Migration is a huge part of that. Men in particular emigrate to countries like the United States and Portugal in search of work so they can send money back home to their families.
Here are 10 facts about Cabo Verde migrants:
- There are more Cabo Verde migrants than there are residents in the Republic of Cabo Verde. The 20th century saw a huge fluctuation of emigration after droughts plagued the islands. Most migrated to the eastern coast of the United States or Portugal, but there are also Cabo Verdeans in Senegal, the Netherlands, France and Angola.
- Many Cabo Verde migrants are deported back home because of their involvement in drugs, crime and improper documentation. Males are most likely to return, and this caused an increase in important roles for women.
- Migrants that are deported back to Cabo Verde do not have access to a program to initiate them back into the society, which makes life at home difficult.
- Those returning from the United States have difficulty remembering the Creole language of Cabo Verde and struggle to find a job.
- The 2016 push for tighter immigration laws in the United States threatened to deport nearly 400 Cabo Verde migrants. Executive orders to speed up the deportation process in the United States only increased that threat.
- Migrating an important for many Cabo Verde people because it allows them to send money to their families. Working outside of the country brings in foreign currency that helps stabilize both family incomes and the nation’s economy.
- To help Cabo Verde migrants, an International Commission established the Ministry of Emigrated Communities. This institution worked to fund migration and make it easier for Cabo Verdeans to remain in countries outside of their own in order to work. The immigration policies of other countries have led to some conflict, but this representation is important for Cabo Verdeans.
- Some Cabo Verdean migrants want to pursue higher education. In 2009, the number of migrants from Cape Verde who had a received a higher education was at 11 percent. At the same time, more than 54 percent of Cape Verde migrants held positions in health care.
- Most the wealth in Cabo Verde comes from migrants who are working abroad and sending money home. This is visible on the islands by the large houses and expensive cars. It is crucial that migration remains an option for Cabo Verdeans.
- In 2010, the European Union worked with Cabo Verde on a project to “promote legal mobility between Cabo Verde and the EU by enhancing cooperation on migration and development issues while combating irregular migration.” The EU wanted to find a productive and agreeable use for the skills that Cabo Verde emigrants possessed when they returned home. They also wanted to find a successful way for Cabo Verdeans to continue migrating to new countries.
Migration isn’t currently popular in places like the United States. However, for those living in Cabo Verde, it is one of the best options for economic and social stability.
– Mackenzie Fielder