WASHINGTON – On Monday and Tuesday, March 14 and 15, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas was in Mexico City, Mexico and San José, Costa Rica to meet with the Presidents and Cabinet members of those countries to further collaboration on bilateral opportunities and challenges, including regional efforts related to migration management. In Mexico, Secretary Mayorkas and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador committed to the promotion of lawful trade and travel and a regional approach to migration management. In Costa Rica, Secretary Mayorkas joined President Carlos Alvarado Quesada in announcing a bilateral Migration Arrangement that outlines our commitments to work collaboratively on migration and protection issues.
“Mexico and Costa Rica are both strong partners of the United States, and I value our continued work together to realize the opportunities before us, both in the promotion of economic growth and the development of safe, orderly, and humane migration pathways,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “As an example of that partnership, I am proud to have announced a Migration Arrangement with Costa Rica in support of President Biden’s comprehensive plan to address irregular migration in our hemisphere.”
Last week, President Biden called on all governments in the region to work together to develop a regional declaration on migration and protection that would address migration challenges in the Western Hemisphere. Signing this arrangement with Costa Rica is a significant step towards achieving this goal in advance of the Summit of the Americas in June.
On Monday, March 14, in his fourth official visit to Mexico City, Secretary Mayorkas and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar also met with Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard to discuss the close partnership between the United States and Mexico and our shared commitment to stemming irregular migration, creating viable legal pathways, fostering legitimate trade and travel, and combating the shared dangers of transnational crime.
On Tuesday, March 15, Secretary Mayorkas made his first official visit to Costa Rica, where he signed the joint Migration Arrangement.
In Costa Rica, Secretary Mayorkas had productive conversations with President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, Minister of Foreign Affairs Rodolfo Solano Quirós, and Minister of Public Security Michael Soto Rojas on furthering cooperation between the United States and Costa Rica on areas of mutual interest, including migration management in the region. Secretary Mayorkas expressed gratitude for Costa Rica’s efforts to provide protection and legal pathways to vulnerable migrants and those fleeing authoritarian regimes.
While in Costa Rica, Secretary Mayorkas also met with representatives from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to discuss their ongoing and impactful work in Costa Rica. Secretary Mayorkas visited a refugee processing center and the Center for the Social Rights of Migrants (CENDEROS), an NGO founded in 1999 by Nicaraguan migrant women that provides protection to survivors of gender-based violence and vulnerable LGBTQI+ individuals. During these visits, Secretary Mayorkas had the opportunity to view firsthand the services being offered to migrants and hear their personal stories.
In Costa Rica, Secretary Mayorkas and U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica Dr. Cynthia A. Telles were joined by a United States delegation including Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Transborder at the National Security Council Katie Tobin, DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Serena Hoy, DHS Deputy Chief of Staff Jeff Rezmovic, and Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration Marta Youth.