US President Joe Biden will receive his Costa Rican counterpart Rodrigo Chaves at the White House on Tuesday, after an agreement between the two nations on possible legal pathways for migrants.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement released Wednesday that the two leaders will discuss how nations can “build inclusive and sustainable economies advance democratic values in the region, promote migration safe and orderly and address regional security challenges.”
In recent years, Costa Rica, with a population of 5 million, has become one of the top places in the world for asylum claims.
In June, Costa Rica and the United States agreed to open possible legal pathways to the United States for some of the Nicaraguan and Venezuelan migrants who are among the 240,000 asylum seekers in the Central American country.
The agreement was intended to reduce pressure on the overwhelmed Costa Rican asylum system and prevent asylum seekers from abandoning the slow process in Costa Rica and heading to the US-Mexico border.
In December, Chaves declared that the policies were being abused by people who only wanted to come to work and then leave, and that they would tighten the policies. As an alternative, authorities offered a two-year work permit to Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Cubans in exchange for dropping their long-term asylum cases.