Researchers and government and civil society representatives took part last Tuesday of the seminar “Migration policy and management: challenges and opportunities for the development of Brazil”, a partnership between the Department of Public Policy Analysis of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV/DAPP) and the Observatory of International Migrations (OBMigra), from the University of Brasília (UnB). The debate indicated that the changes in the new Migration Law are opportunities for the development of the country, which has seen a significant increase of its migratory cycles in the past decade. Nevertheless, it was pointed out that Brazil has only around 0.3% of immigrants in its population and that there still are barriers for their integration into society.
— The country has had a strong contribution to immigration on many occasions, encouraged by the State; it has had recent advances in legislation; but we think that it is still not enough. There is enormous room for Brazil to become more receptive towards immigration and see it as a lever to bring advances in several technical and even cultural areas. The respect to human rights must be a mark of our strategy as a nation — pointed out FGV/DAPP’s director, Marco Aurelio Ruediger, who participated of the first table about the regulatory mark.
The director also highlighted that immigration has earned its space within the economy, whether through skilled or informal labor.
— We can not only support the growing migratory influx but also make the country use immigration in its favor — concluided Ruediger.
Also present in the debate, the general immigration coordinator – CGIg, Hugo Medeiros Gallo da Silva, the coordinator of the National Council for Immigration, Luiz Alberto Matos dos Santos, both from the Ministry of Labor, and the associate director of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP), André Zaca Furquim, spoke about the recent decree for the regulation of the law. They stated that, soon, new resolutions will be released to correct potential negative impacts on the labor market. According to Furquim, the first directive to be released by the ministries dealing with migratory reception will focus on migrants from Venezuela.
— The irregular immigrant is, many times, in a vulnerable situation. By evaluating the current scenario and respecting the laws of the decree, we will seek to welcome people in conditions such as the indigenous Venezuelans, who do not have documents, for example — he stated.
The president of the Commission of International Law (OAB-RJ), Alexandre Mendonça Tolipan, stated that the decree has already been the target of criticism by the civil society and that it is necessary to be attentive to the application of the new rules:
— We are a receptive country, but there are few immigrants in the population. The legislation as shown is an advance, now we are in the 20th century. On the other hand, the decree has been the target of criticism. It is necessary to be attentive to the next resolutions.
On the occasion, the preliminary results of the partnership between FGV/DAPP and OBMigra were also presented. The researchers highlighted the importance of the data to understand the migratory influxes.
— The dimension of the data has an intrinsic importance not only for the analysis, but also for the management of public policies. The more integrated the databases, the faster the decision-making — stated FGV/DAPP researcher, Wagner Oliveira.
The partnership between the institutions includes efforts for data integration.
— It is crucial to combine quantitative and qualitative data to understand these immigrants. It is crucial information. It is very difficult to count the number of immigrants, so we must develop more creative tools, such as exploring secondary sources, administrative registers and home visits — suggested Leonardo Cavalcanti, scientific coordinator of OBMigra.
The integration of the immigrants into society was also the topic of the final table of the seminar. Members of the civil society gave examples of programs that promote the insertion of foreigners in the job market, such as “Empoderando regiadas” (Empowering Refugee Women), which offers professional orientation and access to job opportunities for women, while also raising the awareness of companies about the issue.
– Local integration is a complex process, with legal, cultural and social dimensions. It is necessary to integrate starting from the arrival of the refugees at the borders, such as in access to documentation – stated Isabel Marquez, from Acnur.