New border rules restrict access of migrants seeking asylum
After banning the entry of people coming from Venezuela by land, a new decree reopens the air borders but excludes migrants with humanitarian visas
Venezuelans wait at the Federal Police station at the border town of Pacaraima, in the
state of Roraima.
On Tuesday, June 30, the latest inter-ministerial decree was issued regulating the closure of Brazil’s borders as a health measure
in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country. The document extends the rules on the entry of people from other countries to Brazil for another 30 days.
The most recent change to the rules is the reopening of the air borders. From now on, migrants with student, work and sports visas, among others, will be permitted to enter Brazil. However, the rule does not include people with humanitarian visas – in Brazil this visa is granted to people from Syria and Haiti who are fleeing conflicts in their countries.
“Just like in all the previous decrees, the government’s intention to harm refugees is present. People may come to Brazil who have other types of visas, such as students and investors. But, inhumanly, those with humanitarian visas were excluded. The prohibition has been kept in place for a survivor of war, for example, to seek asylum in the country. Such as person will, according to the decree, be summarily deported to the country where their life is at risk,” warned Camila Asano, program director at Conectas.
The discriminatory treatment of Venezuelans also continues, since the more flexible rules do not apply to people coming from the neighboring country to the north, where Brazil has recognized that there are serious and widespread human rights violations taking place.