By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – President of Brazil, Michel Temer, sanctioned a law on Thursday that establishes a Federal Emergency Relief Committee to further protect and aid new immigrants seeking refuge in the country.

Brazil,President Michel Temer signs emergency assistance bill for refugees seeking asylum in Brazil.
President Michel Temer signs emergency assistance bill for refugees seeking asylum in Brazil, photo by Alan Santos/PR.

The law especially help the hundreds of Venezuelan immigrants who come across the border into the state of Roraima everyday seeking a better life.

“We are showing the world the humanitarian vocation that Brazil has,” stated Temer during the signing ceremony, in one of the shelters in Roraima state.

The new law establishes emergency actions in the areas of social protection, health, education, human rights, food and public safety. It also provides help to Venezuelan immigrants who want to go to other states of Brazil, the so-called internalization.

Temer vetoed only one passage of the new bill approved in the Senate earlier this month, which called for the creation of quotas with a maximum number of migrants that could be absorbed by each state.

In his visit to Roraima, President Michel Temer also reaffirmed that Brazil will not close off the border between Brazil and Venezuela to prevent the inflow of immigrants, stating that this kind of attitude would be ‘inappropriate’.

Temer, however, said that his administration was looking for ways to reduce the burden Venezuelan immigrants have placed in cities, such as Boa Vista.

“We cannot close the border, but there is no way to disregard the needs of Boa Vista, Roraima and the entire state,” Temer concluded. Roraima’s governor had asked permission to close the border to Venezuelan immigrants, which was refused by the Union.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) more than 156,000 Venezuelans asked for refuge in Brazil between 2015-2017.

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