Opinion by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – It is often said that there are more Brazilians in New England from the town of Governador Valadares in Minas Gerais, than there are in Governador Valadares itself.

Michael Royster, aka The Curmudgeon.
Michael Royster, aka The Curmudgeon.

This is probably not true, because Governador Valadares is a city of over 200,000 inhabitants, but for years, if you were from that town, you could not get a tourist visa to the United States, because of the wave of illegal immigrants two decades ago.

Nowadays, as the Brazilian economy has tanked, there are probably more Brazilians in South Florida than in New England, and recent news reports show that the human smugglers known as “coyotes” are very active in Brazil and the Bahamas.

The number of Brazilians whose requests for tourist visas to the U.S. were denied rose to 16.7 percent in 2016 from only 5.3 percent in 2015; the number of Brazilians arrested trying to cross the border illegally rose to 3,252 from 1,434.

According to Sergio Amaral, Brazil’s Ambassador to the U.S., there are around 1.4 million Brazilians in the U.S., and “only” ten percent of those are illegal. The Ambassador says those Brazilians shouldn’t worry, they’re not going to be deported. His reason seems to be that it’s going to be impossible for government agencies to set up checkpoints outside all those places where Brazilians are employed.

The Curmudgeon does not share the Ambassador’s optimism. Trump the candidate promised to deport all eleven million illegal “aliens”. Judging by his pugnacious inaugural address and mendacious speech to the CIA, Trump the President is simply a continuation of Trump the candidate.

Trump is a businessman, and when he talks he means business. If you are a Brazilian in the U.S. without legal status, be afraid — he’s coming after anyone from south of the border. The easternmost border, if you’re wondering, is the county line separating Trump’s beloved Palm Beach from South Florida.

Trump the President has just, symbolically and symptomatically, deleted the Spanish language version of the White House website. If there had been a Portuguese version, he would have deleted that too.


  1. I like the fact that Trump deleted the spanish language of the WH site. Spanish has no priority over danish, Swedish, japanense, koren, Slavic, german, portuguese, french etc. So it is a nice choice to keep English only!

  2. Illegal Brazilians in America, lay low. If having no valid Visa is your only crime… Only those wanted for crimes will be sought, caught, turned over, deported. Hint: Don’t be arrested for a crime. Wait a few years, and immigration will be revisited when the bad elements are gone.

  3. Only 10%? 140,000 is still a lot of illegals and that is just from Brazil. The US is not the employment agency of the world.

  4. As a Brazilian living in Brazil, let me say one thing: I couldn´t care less what Trump is going to do about my fellow countrymen that decide to break US imigration laws. Come back when he starts to do something to Brazilians who are legaly living in the US. But, I think this is going to be… never.

  5. I don’t understand why we are getting so many refugees seeking asylum from Brazil.Brazil was supposed to be a destination for refugees itself just a couple of years ago.Its hard not to be skeptical about the motives.


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