Migration in French Guiana Amazingly open to the rest of world

“Watch over your brothers and let them settle" Elia Kazan, America America Emigrating and immigrating is a four-stage process: leaving, crossing the border, then entering and, finally, moving around. It is an adventure with a large number of determinants (be they political, economic, family-related, or environmental) and one that can be personal or collective, chosen or imposed, involving previous and future generations. It is part of a pattern exceeding the individual in time and building up multipolar geographical areas between country of origin, host country, and those in between, linked together by a network of commercial, fiduciary*, affective, and political relations. These common characteristics are found in all the immigrant groups present in French Guiana. The region (or ‘La Région’ in French), which is made up of a single department, is now endowed with the representative features of rich countries that make it so attractive (offering access to education, healthcare, social security, and political stability), and this notwithstanding the poor country characteristics also found here (dependency, unequal access to resources, and an informal economy). This ultra-peripheral region (‘Région Ultra-Périphérique’ in French (1999)) is confronted with high levels of immigration, with 37% of the population being immigrants, of whom 31% are from Surinam, 27% from Haiti, and 25% from Brazil. This process is comparable to that found in ...

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