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Friday, July 12, 2024

U.S. Considers Expanding Panama’s Deportation Plan to Costa Rica

President Rodrigo Chaves revealed that the United States is considering incorporating Costa Rica into the immigration control program signed with Panama. Chaves gave an interview to the Panamanian media La Estrella, where he mentioned closely observing Panama’s pilot plan.

This plan aims to initiate a massive deportation program to reduce migratory flows to the United States. Chaves stated he is watching with “care and attention,” waiting to see the outcomes, and disclosed Costa Rica’s intentions to participate in the system. “It is a sovereign decision between Panama and the United States; the latter is considering proposals for Costa Rica to participate in this program as well,” he added. 

President Chaves further explained that his administration is currently evaluating the situation and will discuss it in the coming weeks. He emphasized the plan’s potential focus on identifying individuals with specific backgrounds and confirmed the U.S.’s strong interest in preventing their entry.

“The United States is interested in keeping certain people with criminal records from reaching its border and we are discussing the possibility, first, operationally if it is possible to identify them, how to do it and once they are identified how they would be deported,” he noted.

The President indicated that there are also logistical and regulatory revisions that must be considered. “We are studying the proposal. I imagine that Panama has already made that evaluation and that is why we are interested in seeing what happens here,” he assured. 

According to the Costa Rican leader is a security and human rights issue that must be carefully addressed. “There cannot be a safe society that does not respect human rights, and at the same time there cannot be a safe society without people complying with minimum standard behaviors,” he further detailed.

Rodrigo Chaves also clarified that the country has maintained an “open arms” policy for refugee claimants and that this would not change. He added that the issue at hand has to do with people with criminal backgrounds, or associated with terrorist groups. 

The President underscored that immigration control falls under sovereign decisions but stressed the need for a clear policy from the United States. “It would benefit the entire hemisphere if the U.S. defines its immigration policy clearly,” he commented.

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