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Costa Rica rules out accepting migrants from Britain

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Costa Rica on Tuesday ruled out accepting migrants deported by Britain, which reportedly hopes to expand a controversial arrangement with Rwanda aimed at discouraging asylum seekers.

“We informed the United Kingdom that Costa Rica will not receive any foreign immigrants,” President Rodrigo Chaves wrote on the social media platform X.

Sending undocumented migrants to Rwanda is a key part of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s answer to stopping asylum seekers, who risk their lives arriving from France in small boats.

British newspaper The Times reported on Monday that, according to leaked documents, London was in talks to replicate the Rwanda scheme with Costa Rica, Armenia, Ivory Coast and Botswana.

Costa Rica “has not accepted such a proposal in any way,” the Central American nation’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The two countries had discussed “challenges” posed by migration, but “this does not imply any commitment to receive foreign migrants,” it added.

According to The Times, several South American nations had also been approached by Britain but were thought less likely to be open to replicating the scheme.

The deportation proposal has been mired in controversy and legal challenges since Boris Johnson unveiled it in 2022 when he was prime minister.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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