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President Joe Biden receives President Chaves of Costa Rica at the White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will receive Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves at the White House on Tuesday following an agreement between the two nations on possible legal routes for migrants.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement Wednesday that the two leaders will discuss how the nations can “build inclusive and sustainable economies … promote democratic values ​​in the region, promote safe and orderly migration … and promote regional deal with problems.” security issues.”

In recent years, Costa Rica, with a population of 5 million, has become one of the most important places in the world for asylum applications.

In June, Costa Rica and the US agreed to open potential legal routes to the United States for some of the Nicaraguan and Venezuelan migrants who are among the Central American country’s 240,000 asylum seekers.

The agreement was designed to ease pressure on Costa Rica’s overwhelmed asylum system and deter asylum seekers who might give up on the slow process in Costa Rica and instead head for the US-Mexico border.

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Chaves said in December that the policy was being abused by people who just wanted to come to work and then leave, and that the policy would be tightened. Alternatively, officials offered two-year work permits to Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Cubans in exchange for dropping their long-standing asylum cases.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is dealing with increasing numbers of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border and is limiting illegal crossings while offering more extensive routes.

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