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Costa Rica’s refugee stance may harden

Tuesday, March 21, 2023


However, an influx of asylum seekers since 2018, largely from Nicaragua and Venezuela, has put it under heavy strain, threatening the country’s longstanding commitment to an open refugee policy. President Rodrigo Chaves has already tightened the conditions for refugee status to some degree -- a move that appears to be in line with public sentiment.


  • With the state unlikely to invest any more in strengthening the refugee response system, it will become more dependent on foreign support.
  • Migrants transiting Costa Rica en route from the Darien Gap to the US border will compound social pressures even if they do not stay long.
  • Costa Rica will remain an attractive destination for asylum seekers due to its social stability.

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