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HomeCosta RicaCosta Rican President Talks about Migration

Costa Rican President Talks about Migration

CNN journalist Andres Oppenheimer interviewed President Rodrigo Chaves as part of the program “Oppenheimer Presenta.” Chaves talked about the massive arrival of migrants and how the country is dealing with it.

During the interview, Chaves pointed out that Costa Rica was forged thanks to migration.

“Costa Rica is a country shaped by several waves of migration. For instance, during the 20th century, after the First World War, the Spanish Revolution, the Second World War, the Pinochet, and the Allende crisis in Chile. Recently, Argentinians, Uruguayans, and many Venezuelans have come. Throughout our history, also the Nicaraguan people.”

The President also commented on the estimated cost this has for the country.

“We are 5.1 or 5.2 million inhabitants. We estimate that one million immigrants are not born in Costa Rica; that is, 20 percent of the population. We have been an open country because we give those migrants school or education, social security, health, and public safety, costing us between 200 and 300 million dollars,” said the President.

The Costa Rican government has received significant financial assistance to address the migratory flow, especially of Nicaraguan citizens who have sought refuge in the country because of Ortega’s regime.

On the other hand, in December 2022, the government signed two decrees to modify the regulations for refugee applications to avoid “misuse” by migrants.

“What we have done is to regulate the entry of Nicaraguans for temporary jobs in agriculture. We are offering them social security in exchange for paying a reasonable fee for those services,” said Chaves.

Congressman Ariel Robles, from Frente Amplio, strongly questioned these statements.

“Mr. Rodrigo, in case you don’t know, migrants make an invaluable contribution to our country’s economy. I invite you to visit the coffee plantations, the pineapple plantations, or the sugar cane fields. What did he want? Their labor without health, education, or security?” says Robles.

Additionally, Johanna Obando, PLP Congresswoman, stated that immigrants “have helped build the Costa Rica we have today.”

“Hate speeches and exclusion are unacceptable. Instead of promoting xenophobia, we should be focusing as a country on creating the conditions for more employment, for more development, for everyone regardless of nationality,” she tweeted. 

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