Scores of Haitians have made their to the Latin American nation of Brazil. The mass exodus out of Haiti began in 2010 after the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed an estimated 230,000 and left 1.5 million without homes. The influx of undocumented Haitians into the Brazilian state of Acre reportedly emanated from neighboring nations Peru and Bolivia. In a tiding of good news, the Brazilian government has granted permanent citizenship to 43,781 Haitian immigrants on Wednesday, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune.
The “joint act of recognition, authorization and concession of permanence” was signed by Brazilian Minister of Justice Jose Eduardo Cardozo and Minister of Labor Miguel Rossetto. Under this new plan, the previously undocumented Haitians will be able to stay in Brazil and seek employment, They will also assume all of the rights afforded to foreign nationals with Brazilian spouses or children, like the eligibility to receive government assistance. Rosetto said, “This act establishes a period of up to a year for them to request a foreign resident identification document. Those Haitians are formally accepted by Brazil with stability and security.”
According to Haiti Libre, Cardozo says “permanent residency offers to the Haitians of new job opportunities, social integration and participation in government assistance programs.”
However, the 52,000 Haitians that have reportedly flooded Brazil since 2012 are having a difficult time finding work to sustain themselves, a crisis may be on the horizon. The Huffington Post reports:
There are fewer jobs in Brazil than there are Haitians looking for work. An open-door policy intended to help migrants from the impoverished island is fueling Brazil’s largest immigration wave since World War II and prompting calls for lawmakers to do more to help the new arrivals.