Bolsonaro Pulls Brazil From U.N. Migration Accord
Mr. Bolsonaro did not signal whether his government’s approach to the Venezuelan exodus would change, but he suggested Brazil would continue to embrace those in need.
“We will never withhold help to those in need, but immigration cannot be indiscriminate,” he said in a second message on Twitter. “The defense of national sovereignty was one of the cornerstones of our campaign and it will be a priority of our government.”
Mauricio Santoro, a professor of political science at Rio de Janeiro State University, said Mr. Bolsonaro was misguided in dropping out of the accord.
“There are close to one million foreigners in Brazil and more than three million Brazilians abroad,” he said. “It’s in the national interest to have good global rules to protect immigrants and to participate in creating them.”
Mr. Santoro said that the decision would mean little to Mr. Bolsonaro’s core supporters. But it aligns Brazil’s president ideologically with other conservative leaders who have risen to power by opposing multilateral approaches to contentious issues, including climate change and the treatment of refugees.
The Trump administration was among the handful of countries that chose not to join the migration accord, which was signed in early December. Other nations that rejected it included Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Australia and Israel.
People from Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador are allowed to work and become permanent residents in Brazil easily, under a visa accord in force for several years.
As the exodus from Venezuela has intensified, Brazil has allowed Venezuelans to obtain work documents and has helped a few thousand resettle from border communities to larger cities with more job opportunities.