President Joe Biden hosts Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chavez at the White House
Washington (AFP) – The President Joe Biden Costa Rica will host Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chavez at the White House on Tuesday, following an agreement between the two countries on possible legal pathways for migrants.
The two leaders are expected to discuss how the two countries can work together to strengthen economic ties through new job opportunities and the promotion of democracy organized migration.
Central American nation It has emerged as a migration hotspot, as migrants increasingly travel across the dangerous Darien Gap from Colombia into Central America and north into Costa Rica.
In June, Costa Rica and the United States agreed to open possible legal pathways to the United States for some migrants from Nicaragua and Venezuela who are among the 240,000 asylum-seekers in the Central American country. Last year, Nicaraguans accounted for nine out of 10 applicants.
The agreement aims to relieve pressure on Costa Rica’s overburdened asylum system and avoid asylum seekers who could forgo the slow process in Costa Rica and head instead to the US-Mexico border.
The United States grapples with an increasing number of Immigrants to the US-Mexico border And I clamped down on illegal crossings with the introduction of expanded pathways after the end of pandemic-era border restrictions.
Chavez said in December These policies have been abused by people who are just looking to come to work and leave, and the policies will be tightened. As an alternative, officials offered a two-year work permit to Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and Cubans in exchange for dropping their asylum cases in the long term.
Costa Rica, a country of about 5 million people, is facing increasing crime and murder rates, which are largely blamed on drug-related violence. The nation was once a transit point for the drug trade From South America to the United States, it is increasingly becoming an important hub – and there is a growing domestic market as well. Chavez promised to increase the police presence.
This article originally appeared on apnews.com