US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is set to travel to Costa Rica on June 1 – 2 to meet with the President of the Central American country, Carlos Alvarado, to discuss US immigration issues. Blinken will also reportedly meet with representatives of Mexico, the Dominican Republic and other Central American nations on immigration matters.
According to the US Department of State (DoS), Blinken is set to meet Alvarado first in San José along with Rodolfo Solana, the Costa Rican Foreign Minister, to discuss US-Costa Rica relations. The US Secretary of State will then participate in a meeting of the Central American Integration System (SICA).
Costa Rican Foreign Minister Rodolfo Solano said: “This visit confirms the extraordinary state of relations between the United States and Costa Rica. The current President of the United States, Joseph Biden, held a conversation with President Carlos Alvarado that allowed us to draw with precision and clarity the road map of our strategic relationship.”
Mr Solano stressed that Costa Rica and the United States share ‘universal values’, adding that the meeting with Blinken will serve as a platform for ‘reconfirming historical ties’ and evaluating how to face the ‘challenges of the future’.
It’s understood that the meeting between Blinken and Alvarado is an opportunity to analyze the root causes of immigration to the US from Central American countries, including Costa Rica, and to come up with solutions on how to improve security and economic opportunities for those leaving their homes for the US.
Blinken is also planning to hold bilateral meetings with several attendees to discuss joint efforts on a country-by-country basis.
A statement issued by the DoS said: “The purpose of these meetings is for Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, to strengthen cooperation on common priority issues for these countries. These include the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and the issue of high immigration levels to the US from Central American countries.”
News of Blinken’s plans to travel to Costa Rica for talks on US immigration follow reports that US Vice President, Kamala Harris, will visit Mexico ‘soon’ for similar discussions.
Harris has been tasked by President Biden with leading US efforts with Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle nations – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – to deter migrants from entering the US.
During a roundtable meeting in April, where experts offered recommendations to the Vice President on the Central American region, Harris said: “Our focus is on dealing with the root causes of immigration to the US, and I am looking forward to travelling, hopefully as my first trip, to the Northern Triangle, stopping in Mexico and then going to Guatemala.”
Some have suggested that Blinken’s visit to Costa Rica is ‘widening the net’ of discussions with Central American countries as Biden comes under increasing pressure over the crisis at the US southern border with Mexico.
Recent reports amid the crisis claim that US Border Patrol has released more than 60,000 migrants into the US under Biden, most of whom are let in without court dates to make their case to remain in America.
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