By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilian President, Michel Temer, expressed concerned over the fate of at least 46 Brazilian minors in U.S. shelter to visiting U.S. Vice-President, Mike Pence, on Tuesday. The U.S. official took note but stated the United States will continue to do everything in its power to keep the North American nation safe.
“This is an extremely sensitive issue in the eyes of the Brazilian society and government at large. For that same reason, I requested that he give special attention to ensure that families can be swiftly reunited,” President Temer told journalists during a press conference after the meeting.
“I wish to, in advance, thank [Vice] President Pence for his willingness, as he indicated, to ensure that we will keep on working together in — or towards a solution to the matter at hand,” added the Brazilian official.
Brazil has offered to fly those Brazilian minors back to the South American country when the U.S. allows them to be reunited with their families.
Although he agreed with President Temer, VP Pence reminded Brazilians that the latest decision to reunite the families did not mean that the U.S. was abandoning the idea of expelling illegal aliens. “To all the nations of this region, let me say with great respect: Just as the United States respects your borders and your sovereignty, we insist that you respect ours,” said Pence.
Pence, who is on a two-day visit to Brazil, also discussed the humanitarian crisis occurring now in Venezuela and Brazil-U.S. negotiations in relation to the Alcantara space launch base.
“Mr. President, let me say thank you. Thank you for supporting the more than 50,000 Venezuelans who have fled to Brazil to escape the deprivation and the tyranny that has beset their homeland. Thank you for your leadership in standing up to the Maduro regime, and for your partnership in the cause of democracy in that land with the United States,” said Pence
During the press conference the Vice-President announced that the United States would be donating US$1 million directly to Brazil so that the South American country could better address the thousands of Venezuelan refugees fleeing into Brazil through the country’s Northern border.
Vice President Pence, along with his wife, is scheduled to fly to Manaus in the Amazon region on Wednesday to visit shelters set up to lodge some of the Venezuelan refugees coming across the border.