BRAZIL

GENERAL DATA

Poverty rate:

19.4%

 of the total population (2018)

MIGRATION DATA

  • Emigration: According to the 2010 census by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the population residing abroad was estimated at 491,243 people. However, according to the Minister of Foreign Relations (MRE), in 2016 there was an estimated 3,083,255 Brazilians abroad. It is believed that the true number of emigrants is higher than official figures. In general, Brazilians living outside of the country reside mainly in the US, Portugal, England, Japan, Italy, Spain, and Paraguay.

  • Immigration:According to the Federal Police, Brazil has close to 1.2 million migrants, around .5% of the total population. According to the Migration Observatory (OBMigra), around 774,000 immigrants arrived in Brazil between 2010-2018, composed mainly by Haitians, Venezuelans, and Colombians. In the last four years, the Venezuelan population reached a higher volume (253,495 Venezuelan migrants and refugees until November 2019 according to R4V).

  • Transit:Immigrants passing through Brazil include Venezuelans, Haitians, and Africans.

  • Refugees:According to the National Committee for Refugees (CONARE), there are officially registered 43,000 refugees in Brazil in 2020, 88% of recognized refugees (38,000) are Venezuelans

6,071,401

IMPACT BY COVID-19

169,197

* Weekly data update

REGISTERED CASES

NUMBER OF DEATHS

DATE: NOVEMBER 23, 2020

STATE MEASURES

  • Border closure and surveillance measures.

  • Decree 120, adopted on March 17, 2020, closed Brazil’s border to citizens of Venezuela. Two days later, Decree 125 extended the entry ban to citizens of all bordering countries. Non-compliance with both decrees results in immediate deportation.

  • A new ordinance (CC-PR/MJSP/MINFRA/MS no. 1, of July 29th, 2020, and of August 26th, 2020) published by the Federal Government renewed restrictions on entry of foreigners into Brazil by land and sea for an additional 30 days. Although access to airports was granted, visa restrictions were maintained as a discriminatory measure against people in situations of exile, especially Venezuelans. The measure also provides for ongoing prohibition of international flights with pre-scheduled arrivals to Brazilian airports in the following states while the ordinance is in effect: Mato Grosso do Sul; Paraíba; Rondônia; Rio Grande do Sul; and Tocantins.

  • Just as with previous ordinances, the new text maintains additional reserves for citizens of Venezuelan nationality. It establishes, for example, that Venezuelans that find themselves outside of Brazil, including those with residence in the country, cannot enter Brazilian territory.

  • Subsequent to passage of Decrees 120 and 125, which include the deportation of migrants who attempt to cross at land borders during the pandemic, the Acre government called on the Ministry of Citizenship to help repatriate migrants in Assis to their countries of origin.

  • Before the coronavirus crisis, the federal government had established Operation Shelter (Operação Acolhida / Operación Acogida), its main strategy for handling the arrival of Venezuelan migrants in the north, with provided migrants with comprehensive assistance but also functioned as type of a migration filter. After the coronavirus crisis began, Operation Shelter created the Emergent Contingency Plan for Covid-19 in order to establish general rules at the border for Covid-19 prevention, control, and treatment in relation to the entire migrant population (not only Venezuelans). The plan aims to provide security, shelter, relocation, and administrative services within temporary settlements and at information, relocation, welcome, and support desks.  

  • The Federal Government implemented the Emergency Assistance Program for the most vulnerable population, since the month of April 2020, that consists of three monthly payments of 600 reales or USD 110. According to the Defensoría del Pueblo de la Unión, undocumented migrants can also solicit assistance.

  • The Federal Government prolonged the emergency assistance by two months, and it is now extended through December 2020, although at a value of less than R$600.

  • Since the 2nd of April, almost 60,000 immigrants that reside in Brazil have solicited for documentation with the CPF (Registry of Physical Persons) and the Brazilian Revenue Service. This is signaled by data obtained by MigraMundo through an Access to Information Request. Having a valid CPF is the main documentary requirement to obtain emergency assistance. In addition to this difficulty of having documents, technical instabilities and the delay in the return of update requests were also barriers for immigrants seeking to regularize their CPF in the midst of the pandemic. With the vast majority of service stations closed, ID card service was essentially delivered remotely, using online forms and by email. According to data provided by the IRS, a total of 9,961 immigrants did not have CPF and applied for it as of April 2. Most of the petitions came from Bolivians (2,950), followed by Paraguayans, Venezuelans, Haitians, and Uruguayans. On the other hand, according to the IRS, 49,838 immigrants who had an irregular CPF also looked to the federal agency to correct the situation. It should be noted, however, that the nationalities that most requested the service are mostly European - Portuguese, followed by Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

  • The Brazilian government convened again the Cuban doctors who worked in the More Doctors program until November 2018 and who stayed to live in Brazil as naturalized, permanent residents or refugees.

  • The Federal Public Defender (DPU) provided communication channels to help Brazilians who are abroad. In addition, it announced the creation of the Covid-19 National Observatory, designed to receive complaints about any violation of rights by the government as a result of the pandemic in areas of health, social security, social assistance, housing and other affected areas. 

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs managed the repatriation of 23,500 Brazilians through commercial charter flights, tickets on cargo flights, Armed Forces flights, or by ground transportation with the support of embassies, consulates, and local governments. Still 2,600 people with canceled or invalid air tickets are still awaiting repatriation. The countries from which a greatest number of Brazilians returned are: Portugal, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Mexico.

  • The Paraná state government produced official documents in five languages (Haitian Creole, Arabic, French, English and Portuguese) to guide migrants of various nationalities to fight coronavirus. 

  • The Municipality of Boa Vista is restricting the assistance of Venezuelan migrants in the municipality's public health network through municipal law 2,074 (February 2020). On April 20, 2020 the Union Public Defender accomplished that the Judiciary prevents the municipality from continuing with this measure. 

  • Several airlines have canceled international flights to Brazil due to the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions imposed by several countries. However, some companies operate connections from foreign cities, mainly to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza and Recife. The few international routes still in operation are being used by Brazilians who are abroad to return to Brazil. The Brazilian Foreign Ministry said in a note that it is seeking all options to repatriate nationals residing abroad who have had problems with their flights back to the country.

  • According to the Manaus City Council, a shelter with the capacity to serve 100 people was made available, but there are around 170 Venezuelan migrants and refugees in the area, most of whom are indigenous Warao. Indigenous Venezuelans denounce the lack of basic living conditions and protect themselves from coronavirus in a shelter provided by the Manaus City Council, in the northern zone of the capital. They reported a lack of soap and water as well as living in rooms with at least four families in a small space.

  • The State of Amazonas received, through the Ministry of Health, a field hospital located in a health center that cares for indigenous people infected by the new coronavirus.

  • On August 11th, the 1st Municipal Policies Plan for Immigrants was launched in São Paulo. 

  • The plan also highlights its convergence with a series of international treaties aimed at guaranteeing the rights and protection of the migrant and refugee population, such as the Global Pact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The objectives are based on the 78 proposals divided into eight core focuses:

 

  • Social participation and social prominence of migrants in the governance of local migration;

  • Access to social assistance and housing;

  • Incentivization and valorization of cultural diversity;

  • Protection of human rights and fight against xenophobia, racism, religious intolerance, and other forms of discrimination;

  • Women and the LGBTQ+ population: access to rights and services;

  • Promotion of good work, generation of employment and income, and professional training;

  • Access to comprehensive education, teaching Portuguese to immigrants and respecting interculturality;

  • Access to comprehensive health, leisure, and sports.

 

  • According to the municipal administration, around 360 thousand immigrants currently reside in São Paulo, covering a total of 197 nationalities. The largest community is Bolivian (estimated to be at least 70,000 people), followed by Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Haitian, Spanish, South Korean, Argentine, and Peruvian.

  • The Federal Public Ministry (MPF) filed an urgent public civil action, asking that the Union, the state of Amazonas, and the Municipality of Manaus reinforce public policies around food security for migrants and refugees distributed by Operation Welcome in shelters in the capital of Amazonas. Before the request, the Federal Court determined, on July 22nd, the summons of the three defendants for protesting prior to the decision. The municipality of Manaus must prove, within the same period, that it has normalized the supply of shelters with food.

  • The MPF also signaled that the context of the COVID-19 pandemic directly impacted the diet of these people, considering that some of the food was provided by donation from civil society. So, with the decline of activity on the streets, combined with the economic crisis—consequences of the spread of the virus—the number of donations was very low, worsening the nutrition prospects of citizens that, as we already know, were already in a vulnerable situation, the MPF indicated in a section of their action.

  • The president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, said on the 23rd of July that the country would maintain closed borders with Brazil until the curve of contagion has been “flattened,” which is to say that the number of new cases ceases to rise. The border closing intensified the flow of contraband and, a few days later, local media informed of a firefight between navy soldiers and smugglers on the banks of the Paraná River, on the border with Ciudad del Este.

  • The European Union has established restrictions on the entry of travelers from countries where Covid-19 is not controlled even after restrictions at European borders have been relaxed. The fact that Brazil is currently the second country in the world in terms of the number of infected makes it difficult for people in the country to enter the European Union.

  • At the beginning of June 2020, the United States banned the entry of people, from anywhere in the world, who were recently in Brazil.

  • The number of Brazilians arriving in the United States from the Mexican border and seeking asylum has increased since the beginning of 2020. Deportation proceedings open in the United States immigration courts involving Brazilian citizens now total 3,429 cases from October 2018 to May 2019.

  • With the closure of face-to-face service at foreign consulates in Brazil, it was difficult to grant visas to Brazilian students for study abroad. A group of Brazilian students currently cannot travel to Porto, Portugal in time for the start of the school year. The data on the students that the University of Porto in Brazil received to complete a full degree (bachelor, integrated master, master or doctorate), indicate that the 2019/2020 academic year was to host the highest number of Brazilian students (2,866) in the last five years.

  • On March 16, the Federal Police issued a statement about the indefinite suspension of immigration deadlines from that date, extending the expiration periods until the end of the public health emergency or until new announced guidance from the Federal Police. However, in dealing with the migrant population, this guarantee has not been respected by many public or private institutions, which continue to demand valid, up-to-date documents. To resolve the situation, the Defensoría del Pueblo (DPU) issued Circular No. 3870322/2020, on August 11, addressed to the assistants of the most diverse services, warning them about the inability of renewing expired documents of migrants.

  • A call was opened (EDITAL No. 1, OF AUGUST 20, 2020) for the process of revalidation of licenses in medicine issued by foreign institutions, after complaints from immigrant organizations and Brazilian doctors trained abroad.

  • On August 28, 2020, the National Committee for Refugees (CONARE) announced the recognition of 7,992 more Venezuelans as refugees. They join the approximately 38,000 Venezuelans who had previously been recognized as refugees since December 2019, after the government recognized the situation in Venezuela as “a serious and widespread violation of human rights.”

*For more detail go to the digital achieve that we created:

In mid-March 2020, nearly every country on the continent declared a health emergency. These countries closed their borders and adopted a series of exceptional measures, arguing that forced immobility as a  solution to contain the virus. Following the shutdown of borders,  more than 30 researchers from the Americas, interested in analyzing the migratory question politically, organized virtually and began to consider the particular situation of millions of migrants, women, men, children and adolescents, from the continent and/or from other latitudes, all of whom are mobile and in transit.

Original Concept: Soledad Álvarez Velasco, University of Houston

General Coordination:Soledad Álvarez Velasco, University of Houston & Ulla D. Berg, Rutgers University

Research, Systematization and Development of Contents: Soledad Álvarez Velasco, University of Houston;  Ulla D. Berg, Rutgers University; Lucía Pérez-Martínez, FLACSO-Ecuador; Mónica Salmon, New School for Social Research; Sebastián León,  Rutgers University.

Coordination polyphonic map: Iréri Ceja Cárdenas: Museo Nacional/ Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro

Project Advisor: Nicholas De Genova, Universidad of Houston.

 

Translation team Spanish - English: 

Soledad Álvarez Velasco, Mónica Salmón, Ulla Berg, Luin Goldring, Tanya Basok, Ingrid Carlson, Gabrielle Cabrera.

Translation team Spanish - Portuguese: 

Iréri Ceja, Gustavo Dias, Gislene Santos, Elisa Colares, Handerson Joseph, Caio Fernandes, María Villarreal.

Website Design and Development:  ACHU! Studio; Francisco Hurtado Caicedo, Social Observatory of Ecuador

Photography: David Gustafsson y Cynthia Briones.

Video: David Gustafsson.

Some of the researchers of this project are members of these CLACSO Working Groups

English translation and proofreading by Gabrielle Cabrera, Rutgers University.

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