Reuters and Associated Press report that Brazil has granted residence visas to over 4,000 Haitian immigrants in Brazil, but will enforce policing of the Latin American country’s borders with Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, through which the Haitians have been entering illegally and will turn away new arrivals. The Haitian immigrants have been flocking to Brazil after the deadly 7.0-magnitude quake that ravaged the Caribbean country. The Haitians that have been granted residency had to endure long journeys down the Andes from Ecuador and through the jungles of Peru and Bolivia to cross into Brazil at remote border towns.
Justice Minister Jose Cardozo has said that “The government will not be indifferent to the Haitians’ vulnerable economic situation. But those who don’t have a visa will not be allowed into Brazil.” He stressed that Brazil will grant work visas to 2,400 Haitians who are stuck in the Amazon border towns. He says another 1,600 Haitians in Brazil have been given visas already. The Brazilian government is also considering granting temporary visas to as many as 100 visiting Haitians per month.
The immigrants arrived looking for work in Brazil’s expanding economy. Demand for manual labor is increasing for projects related to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Haitians who used to migrate to Miami or New York now are looking for opportunities in Brazil, which has enjoyed years of growing economic prosperity and attracted billions of dollars in foreign investment.
Brazil has boosted aid to the country in recent years. President Dilma Rousseff plans to visit Port-au-Prince on February 1 to boost cooperation with Haiti, where the Latin American country leads the UN peacekeeping contingent.
For original articles, see http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/brazil-takes-in-haitian-migrants-drawn-by-boom/ and http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/01/10/1768044/brazil-will-grant-visas-to-haitian.html