Biden Discusses Immigration And Trade With Costa Rican President At The White House
Biden discusses immigration and trade with Costa Rican president at the White House amidst a surge in the number of migrants making their way to the United States. President Joe Biden welcomed President Rodrigo Chaves Robles on Tuesday in a meeting that holds immense significance for the region.
Expressing his gratitude, President Biden commended President Chaves Robles for his country's participation in the 2022 Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection. This pivotal agreement, established during the Summit of the Americas, united governments in their commitment to various actions.
These include expanding programs for temporary workers, strengthening legal avenues such as refugee resettlement and family reunification, extending aid to nations accommodating significant migrant populations, and intensifying efforts against human smuggling networks.
I want to thank you for making that declaration possible, and for your leadership on the migration challenges that we face every single day. Today, I also want to thank you for deepening our security cooperation, that’s one of my objectives, and I hope one of yours, including on organized crime. Our nations are not only united by the challenges we face but, what I’ve found Mr. President, we’re united by the vision we share. A vision for a future of greater opportunity and freedom and equality and, quite frankly, dignity - dignity for all our people.- U.S. President Joe Biden
COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/biden-discusses-immigration-and-trade-with-costa-rican-president-at-the-white-house/ by Hilda Workman on 2023-08-31T04:50:11.374Z
The Western Hemisphere is witnessing an unparalleled influx of individuals, creating significant pressure on the Biden administration. Despite implementing a series of strategies to curb this migration, the administration is still anticipating the arrival of potentially thousands more individuals at the southern border of the US in the upcoming fall season. This situation places a politically sensitive matter at the forefront, especially as a presidential election looms.
This year, the number of migrants navigating the challenging Darien Gap - linking Panama and Colombia and serving as a gauge for regional movement - has reached an unprecedented level. According to authorities, a staggering 248,901 people have traversed this jungle route in 2023. Among these, approximately 20% constitute children and adolescents.
"We’re monitoring it really closely and are concerned," a senior administration said. "This has been a high priority for the US and for our partners in the region."
Border authorities are already witnessing a rise in daily encounters at the border, surpassing earlier numbers from this summer. The month of July saw a nearly twofold increase in the apprehension of families at the border - a group particularly vulnerable - compared to June. This surge has prompted concerns within the Biden administration.
President Chaves Robles' visit to the White House on Tuesday highlighted the critical importance of US relationships within the Western Hemisphere in effectively managing the migrant flow.
According to a statement released after the meeting, President Biden and President Chaves Robles engaged in discussions covering various topics including economic growth, cyber security, the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, bilateral security, and joint efforts against criminal cartels.
The administration has often emphasized the significance of the Los Angeles declaration as a pivotal step toward handling migration in the region. It reflects the commitment of regional partners to collaborate in managing this challenge.
Situated adjacent to Panama, Costa Rica frequently serves as a transit point for migrants journeying towards the US southern border, rendering it a pivotal element of the administration's migration strategies. An accord between the United States and Costa Rica, established during the Biden administration, delineated comprehensive commitments. These involve enhancing enforcement measures, exchanging information concerning migrant flows, and stabilizing communities that host migrants.
Nonetheless, Costa Rica itself has been grappling with an inundation of migrant arrivals. This underscores the predicament faced by US officials, who are partially reliant on nations with limited resources to establish lawful avenues and discourage northbound migration. It's important to note that Costa Rica also draws asylum seekers to its own territory.
Acknowledging the repercussions of migration on Costa Rica, the senior administration representative highlighted the surge of Nicaraguan and Venezuelan arrivals. However, the official also praised Costa Rica as an exemplar and advocate for a comprehensive approach across the hemisphere.
Costa Rica stands as one of the many nations poised to inaugurate "safe mobility offices," a novel endeavor spearheaded by the Biden administration in collaboration with international organizations. This innovative initiative aims to establish physical processing centers where migrants can formally apply for legal migration to not only the US but also other countries, thereby eliminating the need for perilous border journeys. Additionally, a web portal has been launched, enabling individuals to register and initiate applications for programs and legitimate pathways prior to visiting these offices.
As of August 28, more than 38,000 individuals have enrolled in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Guatemala for participation in the Safe Mobility initiative, as reported by a White House representative. Historically, the United States has maintained a close partnership with Costa Rica, and this collaboration is expected to continue to hold a pivotal role, as affirmed by Andrew Selee, President of the Migration Policy Institute, an impartial think tank.
"It’s the one country, besides Mexico and Colombia, that has some real capacity," Selee said.
The safe mobility offices represent just one facet of a multitude of initiatives initiated within the region. Earlier in the year, the administration also initiated collaborative endeavors with Panama and Colombia to address the migration flow through the Darien Gap.
However, experts caution that substantial enforcement would be challenging to implement due to resource constraints. This underscores the necessity for countries such as the US and Costa Rica to join forces in facilitating legal migration to the intended destinations, thereby circumventing the perilous northern journey.
Amid increasing threats to stability in parts of Latin America, the Biden administration has lauded Costa Rica as a resilient democracy. In March, the United States, along with South Korea, the Netherlands, and Zambia, co-hosted the second Summit for Democracy, with Costa Rica playing a significant role.