Between the hills and the rivers, Petropolis offers Stefan Swig a view of a prosperous country. The writer, who was expelled from Nazi Austria and witnessed the burning of his books, believes that dying in Vienna is found in Brazil: in his words, a young peaceful nation that seems to “ignore hatred”, where to breed. Not a fantasy.
His idealistic view of a society in which communities thrive does not preclude the survival of the logic of deportation inherited from a never-confirmed slave past. However, this community bears witness to a state formed from the continuous waves of migration from Portuguese colonization and later from Lebanon via Italy and Japan.
Eighty years later, the situation seems deeply unsettling.
Amid low GDP, recession and inflation, 43 million Brazilians live without work income, or 21% of the population.
Ten months before the presidential election, far – right President Jair Bolsonaro, who promised the country’s rebirth, is bloodying society. Official figures from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs show an unprecedented increase in the number of emigration applicants.
The number of Brazilians living across the border increased from 1.89 million in 2012 to 4.21 million today, an increase of 122%. This figure could easily be increased to 6 million, given the largest influx of migrants in the country’s history, not to mention the so-called illegal exodus. “It’s unprecedented for Brazilians to leave in the coming years, in fact, representing the largest expatriate population in Brazilian history,” observes Pedro Brights, a professor at the Getulio-Vargas Foundation.
About half of young people want to leave Brazil
A study conducted by the Jair Bolsonaro Datafolha Institute when it came to power confirms this trend. The survey shows that 70 million residents over the age of 16 want to immigrate. Four years later, almost half of young people want to leave Brazil.
When questioned, the Kovid-19 pandemic, which killed more than 620,000 Brazilians, worsened the economic situation. Amid low GDP, recession and inflation, 43 million Brazilians live without work income, or 21% of the population. “The economic crisis that Brazil has gone through in recent years has forced many residents to flee in search of better working conditions. That fact must be taken into account. “
13 million This is the number of people currently unemployed. + 50% This is an increase in fuel prices between January and November 2021; Poultry rearing increased by 22.9% to 10.74% for the year as a whole.
The main destination of these economic immigrants is the United States. From January to November 2021, Customs and Border Protection captured 46,280 Brazilians, up from 1,500 in 2018. These numbers seem to be very small compared to the 550,000 Mexicans who tried to cross the border during the same period. However, Brazil, which has long been the spearhead of South America, now includes itself in Group 6, a large part of the group currently detained in US detention centers.E Held the rank of nationalities.
This is because smugglers, who can initially ask candidates for up to $ 25,000, make butter out of the Brazilian situation. “Before us there was an influx of Brazilians, but never to this extent,” Ramon Romo, head of the anti-smuggling unit for US services, confirmed to Reuters. Visas are waived to enter Mexico, and Brazilians head north to cross the border.
To address this, the Biden administration has been pushing Mexico City to revise its visa policy since July 2021. But for now, Mexico has not decided to complicate the process, at the risk of reciprocal policy on the part of Brazil, to alienate the entry of foreign currencies from Brazilian rich Brazilian tourists.
In 2021, customs arrested more than 46,000 migrants. In 2018, there were only 1,500 people. © Paul Ratje / AFP
An immigration that brings the share of disasters
Under the subcontracting program introduced by Donald Trump and recently updated (Migrant Protection Protocols), Brazilians, unlike Central American immigrants who are forced to wait in Mexico to process their asylum application, can wait in the United States and 99.2% agree. 2021 January to August. This adoption policy appears to be validated by 15% of Mexicans, 57% of Guatemalans and 66% of Hondurans.
This migration also plays a role in the tragedy. In September 2021, U.S. Border Patrol agents found the body of nurse Lenilda dos Santos in the New Mexico desert. She lost her childhood friends on the way out of the Amazon and she tried to get through with them. “Economic migration is a major concern because people who want to leave Brazil at any cost cannot survive in the countries they are going to,” explains Angela Satologianis, an international law specialist.
Big jump to Portugal
Jair Bolsonaro also never hid his reluctance to academic research. In 2019, the government cut its budget by 30% to remove the “Marxist waste” of three public universities. According to the British publication Times Higher Education (THE), it does not matter if the university is ranked 71st in the world.E On the 30th of 2017E For UFBA and 19th in 2018E To 16E For UNB. The declining research budget and meager salaries for postgraduate teachers have led to the leakage of locally trained brains.
In Ireland, the Brazilian community has more than tripled. Brazilian students, on the one hand, benefit from cheaper courses than in neighboring England; On the other hand, a visa that allows them to work. The attraction policy in the areas of high technology, health and finance does the rest.
Since 2019, Australia has also adopted a policy of attracting “talent” – “selective immigration” as we say here – while, at the same time, successive governments do not have enough words against poor immigrants. Finally, a way to lose Brazilian graduates and further impede its development. The same is true in Portugal, where the immigration of Brazilians with language benefits has increased by 400% since 2019. But Jair Bolsonaro never talks about it.
Prone to fits of apathy. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Internet advocate. Avid travel enthusiast. Entrepreneur. Music expert.