Brasilia—Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro last week reaffirmed his decision to pull the country out of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact for Migration, saying migration policies must be defined on the national level.
Bolsonaro also blasted the United Nations’ migration pact indicating that Latin America’s largest nation will adopt a hard line on immigration.
Bolsonaro, who has promised to pull out of the UN deal, said on Twitter that he wants to ensure immigrants coming to Brazil not only abide by the laws, but also sing the national anthem and respect the country’s culture. “Brazilians and the immigrants who live here will be safer with rules we define on our own, without outside pressure,” he tweeted.
“Immigration cannot become an indiscriminate act. It is imperative for us to establish proper criteria for each country,” said Bolsonaro. “If we control those who enter our homes, why should it be different with Brazil as a nation?”
A recent survey by polling company Datafolha indicates that 42 percent of Brazilian citizens “completely agree” with the idea of tighter control over immigration to Brazil, with an additional 24 percent saying they somewhat agree.
Bolsonaro said he won’t reject help for those crossing the border, an apparent reference to Venezuelans fleeing an economic and political crisis at home. In recent years, tens of thousands of Venezuelans have crossed into neighboring Brazil.
Brazil has also welcomed Syrian and Lebanese refugees in recent years, along with Haitians, Bolivians, Paraguayans and Peruvians seeking better economic opportunities.