Throughout the day today (Jun. 21), Brazilian President Michel Temer has been inspecting the facilities aimed at the reception of Venezuelan immigrants in the cities of Boa Vista and Pacaraima, in the northern state of Roraima. The centers provide assistance in receiving, identifying, documenting, and immunizing immigrants on the national border shared with Venezuela.
The government has also implemented efforts to resettle Venezuelans in other cities, in a bid to facilitate their introduction into the labor market.
When asked by reporters about the still low amount of immigrants relocated from Roraima to other states, Temer answered that Venezuelans must not be “evicted” to other places before their living conditions in the new location are ensured. These measures take time, he remarked. According to official figures, 4.2 thousand people are sheltered in Roraima, and 527 have been taken to the cities of Manaus, Cuiabá, and São Paulo.
“The image people have of the relocation process is, you get Venezuelans, put them on a bus or plane and just leave them in another state. It’s not how it’s done. This is exactly what violates humanitarian principles,” he argued.
Also today, the Planalto presidential palace published a video on Twitter reiterating its measures for sheltering immigrants, chiefly among them Venezuelans.
In the video, a female voice says Venezuelans have come to Brazil to escape famine and the crisis in an attempt to survive, adding that there are Brazilians criticizing the government’s attitude to help immigrants. The announcer goes on to note that this is a humanitarian issue, and a matter of survival, which is why the government cannot refrain from offering assistance.
“Thousands have come, and, of course, the government couldn’t simply turn its back on this humanitarian issue. But a lot of people have complained: ‘We see so many Brazilians in need, and the government chooses to help Venezuelans first.’ It’s not a matter of predilection, but of survival.”
In the note, Brazilians are urged to put themselves in the Venezuelans’ place. “What if it were the other way around, with Brazilians in desperate need to move to another country and being barred from doing so?”
The video says that the government has taken the necessary measures to prepare the border to welcome immigrants. In the last few months, Roraima started receiving Venezuelans through the border city of Pacaraima on a daily basis, due to the economic and political crisis assailing their country.
“The government prepared the border to receive the Venezuelans, offering at least the essentials: shelter, food, as well as medical and social assistance. This is great for the city they’re coming to.” He notes that this is Brazil’s chance to show the world it is a country that’s evolving in the economic, political, and social arenas, despite all the difficulties.