By Dorah Feliciano, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Less than a month after adhering to the United Nations’ Global Pact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, Brazil’s new commander and chief, Jair Bolsonaro, has announced the country is leaving the agreement to ‘preserve national values’.
“Brazil is sovereign to decide whether or not to accept migrants,” said the president in his social media account. “No to the migration pact.”
Bolsonaro, however, also stressed that the country will not close the doors to those who need it.
“We will never refuse help to those in need, but immigration cannot be indiscriminate. There is a need for criteria, seeking the best solution according to the reality of each country,” explained the President.
In December, before even taking over as Bolsonaro’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ernesto Araújo had stated that the pact was an ‘inadequate instrument to deal with the problem’.
“Immigration should not be treated as a global issue, but rather according to the reality and sovereignty of each country,” Araújo said at the time.
According to Araújo, Brazil will now seek a ‘regulatory framework compatible with the national reality and with the well-being of Brazilians and foreigners’.
“The Brazilians and the immigrants who live here will be safer with the rules we will define on their own, without pressure from outside,” concluded Bolsonaro.
The pact established specific guidelines for the reception of immigrants. By UN estimates, there are more than 258 million immigrants worldwide.
Of the 193 countries’ members, 181 signed the agreement. Among those who opposed it were the United States, Chile, Austria, and Australia.