ROOM DOCUMENT N°4
JOINT OAS/OECD TECHNICAL SEMINAR ON: OAS CONTINUOUS REPORTING SYSTEM ON LABOUR MIGRATION FOR THE AMERICAS (SICREMI) Tuesday 17 March 2009 Venue: 1889 “F” Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006 Padhila Vidal Room
BRAZILIANS IN THE OECD COUNTRIES AND NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES OF SOUTH AMERICA
Dr. Masato Ninomiya
This room document has been prepared by Dr. Masato Ninomiya (São Paulo University, Brazil). The views expressed are those of the author and do not commit either the OECD, the OAS or the national authorities concerned.
BRAZILIANS IN THE OECD COUNTRIES AND NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES OF SOUTH AMERICA
Dr. Masato Ninomiya, São Paulo University, Brazil 1. Historical background 1. Since its independence from Portugal in 1822, Brazil began to accept immigrants from abroad in order to inhabit and settle the huge and then unexploited country. There were some changes in the legislation, but immigration policy continued for more than 150 years. In 1980, however, there was a complete change in its policy, and Brazil ceased to accept non skilled foreigners as immigrants. The economic recession faced by the country and consequent unemployment of many nationals were the main reason for enactment of a new law that year, the Estatuto de Estrangeiros, which is still in force. Only people who invest capital in the country or are highly skilled can obtain a permanent visa for immigration. There was no problem for foreigners who have family ties with Brazilians through marriage or have children born in Brazil. 2. The economic situation became worse during the eighties, caused by declaration of a moratorium on payment of foreign debts in 1982, and because of hyperinflation that reached an annual rate of 2,500 % in the early nineties. The Brazilian government tried to restrain inflation through heterodox measures for four times in different governments, including the so-called Plano Collor in 1990, which has also failed. Only in 1994, the Plano Real succeeded. During the eighties, however, many Brazilians with economic problems, or concerned over the dangerous public security situation, decided to go abroad, mainly to the U.S., Europe and Japan to try new lives in these developed countries. 3. This flow of Brazilians to abroad continued for more than 20 years, and according to the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (hereinafter called as MRE-BR), more than three million Brazilians live in 112 different countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Middle East and Africa. There are 22 countries with more than 10,000 Brazilians. Among them, 15 are OECD countries1 and 6 are South American countries 2. 4. This was the situation, however, until mid-2007, when we began to face a world wide economic crisis triggered by the sub-prime loan collapse in the U.S., which brought many other consequences that 1
Among the OECD 30 countries belonging , there are no Brazilians living in Iceland and Slovak Republic. There are more than 10,000 living in the U.S.(1,240,000), Japan (317,000), UK (150,000), Portugal (147,500), Italy (132,000), Spain (110,000), Switzerland (55,000), Germany (46,200), Belgium (43,600), France (30,000), Canada (21,000), Mexico (18,000), Ireland (17,000), Netherland (16,400), Australia (12,000), New Zealand (5,250), Sweden (5,000), Greece (4,750), Denmark (2,500), Norway (2,160), Poland (1,500), Austria (1,400), Finland (510), Republic of Korea (350), Turkey (275), Hungary (200), Czech Republic (135). According to the Consular Estimates of Brazilians in the World, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil (MRE-BR), July 2008, cited by Sasaki Pinheiro, Elisa Massae, “Ser ou Não Ser Japonês? - A Construção da Identidade dos Brasileiros Descendentes de Japoneses no Contexto das Migrações Internacionais do Japão Contemporâneo” , Doctoral dissertation presented to Universidade de Campinas, Brasil. Anexos, p. 593. There are Brazilians living in all South American countries but there are more than 10,000 living in Paraguay (490,000), Argentina (39,000), French Guiana (20,000), Uruguay (19,000), Bolivia (15,000), Venezuela (12,000). Apud, Sasaki Pinheiro, id., ibid.
quickly expanded to almost all countries in the world. Many Brazilians are facing unemployment in Japan, U.S. and Europe and it has been very hard to face this situation for them, especially in the Winter, because lay-offs are often linked to loss of housing. Thus, the numbers presented in this paper were produced before Fall 2008 and it is supposed there are substantive changes in the situation during the last six months. 2. Brazilians in OECD countries 5. Considering that there are difficulties to make an approach to the situation of Brazilians in every one of the 15 OECD countries more than 10,000 Brazilians live some countries were chosen to make a brief report. The first was the U. S. for having a huge number of Brazilians. The second country in number is Japan and the third is U.K. After these, we will take the cases of Portugal, Italy and Spain for having more than 100,000 Brazilians. 2.1. Brazilians in U. S. 6. Most Brazilians abroad are in North America, which represents about 42% of total Brazilians abroad. The U.S. has more than 99%, with 1,240,000 Brazilians living, mainly in Massachusetts, New York, Florida and California. In Canada, there are about 20,000 Brazilians, which represent about 0.7% of total. 7. A matter of the biggest concern, about the presence of Brazilians in the U.S., is the problem of their illegal situation, vis-à-vis very strict immigration law. There is research affirming that the number of illegal Brazilians in the country may reach 1.1 million3, which means that almost 90% of them are in this situation. 8. Another important matter for Brazilians, mainly for families left in Brazil, is remittances from the U.S. Some opinions hold that in comparison with other countries which depend on the remittances of their nationals from abroad to help their balance of payments, the remittance of Brazilians abroad is not essential for the Brazilian economy vis-à-vis its GDP of more than US$ 1 trillion, and monetary reserve of US$ 200 billion. However, in the context of remittances, the remittances from the U. S. are a very important matter, since they represent 75% of total US$ 7.3 billion sent by Brazilians living abroad. In the cities where big numbers of citizens are living in the U.S., such as Governador Valadares, in Minas Gerais state, there was a strong boom of real estate with remittances, and it will be affected when unemployment hits these people. Other 15% comes from other countries in Europe and the rest from Japan4, which will also be affected by economical situation. 9. There has been considerable improvement in the Brazilian economy during the last five years, and the U.S. is facing a crisis which began with sub-prime loans and quickly affected the stock market. Also, we have to take into account the crisis with the automobile industries commencing with the so-called Big Three (GM, Ford and Chrysler). Electric and electronic industries were also affected. It is very risky to predict anything before the economic policy of new U.S. President enters into effect, but the truth is that the crisis affected both the U.S. and all countries which have trade relations with them. Without export to the U.S., many industries in every country have to diminish production and consequently lay off workers. 3
SALES, Teresa. “Brasileiros nos Estados Unidos”. In: Textos Academicos, v. l “Brasileiros no Mundo”, p. 258. Paper presented at I Conferencia sobre as Comunidades Brasileiras no Exterior, held at Palacio Itamaraty in Rio de Janeiro, on July 17 and 18, 2008. According to Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico, dated April 14, 2008, apud Sales, Tereza, the remittances diminished to US$ 7.07 billion in 2007, because of the U.S. economic crisis and recovery of Brazilian economy.
10. There are opinions saying that a considerable number of Brazilians might soon come back home, based on the fact that many of them work in the construction sector, and this was the most affected segment by this crisis5. Although this crisis has not yet directly struck Brazil, or there are optimistic opinions that Brazil can easily overcome the situation, the reality is that, soon or later, the country will be affected by this world wide crisis. Unemployment in Brazil is at the level of about 8.5% and the labour market will have difficulties in absorbing these people coming back, not only from the U.S., but also from Japan and other European and South American countries, unless they bring some initial capital to begin small businesses. 11. There is information that many Brazilians are trying to legalize their immigration status in the U.S., and signs of evident integration of the first generation can be seen through an organized community and that the second generation of young immigrants will fix through socialization in the schools6. 2.2. Brazilians in Japan 12. There is a community of about 1.5 million people of Japanese ancestry living in Brazil, thanks to Japanese immigration to this country which began a century ago, and it is considered to be the biggest Japanese community outside of Japan. 13. The reason Brazilians went to work in Japan is the same as the one which took people to go to U.S., the economic crisis, and there was a huge shortage of unskilled labour in Japan in the mid eighties. 14. Japanese Immigration Law is even more strict than the U.S. one, in the sense that only highly qualified people can obtain a work permit and there is no possibility, in principle, for non-qualified foreigners to work in this country. Until 1985, there were only 2,000 Brazilians living in Japan and all visas issued by seven Consulates Generals of Japan in Brazil totalled 5,000 cases per year, until 1987. In 1988, however, the number jumped to 8,600 and, in 1989, to 18,300. In 1990, the Japanese government decided to change its Immigration Law and created a new status of entrance called Long Term Residents, given to the children and grandchildren of Japanese who were born in countries adopting jus soli, i.e., countries giving their nationalities to children of foreigners born in their territories. This status was extended also for people of non-Japanese ancestry, if married to one of Japanese descent, until the third generation. In 1990, there were 48,100 Brazilians living in Japan. This number increased every year, with the exception of 1998, when the Japanese economy was in a difficult situation7. The official number at the end of 2007 was 317,000 Brazilians living in Japan. 15. The presence of Brazilians in Japan can be seen in all 47 prefectures, but there are about 10 prefectures with more than 10,000 people. There are prefectures such as Chiba and Kanagawa surrounding the capital city Tokyo and Ibaraki, Gunma, Tochigi and Nagano in the northern part of the so-called Kanto area. Another area with big concentration of Brazilians is Tokai, with prefectures like Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie, Gifu and Shiga. Inside these prefectures, there are 26 cities and towns with concentration of Brazilians. The most numerous is Hamamatsu City, in Shizuoka Prefecture with more than 20,000 but in the town of Oizumi, in Gunma Prefecture, with total population of 40,000, foreigners are more than 17% of the population, including 10% Brazilians. Many of them are working in the automobile related industries, but there is also a number of people working in electrical and electronic industries. In the bubble crisis of 1997-1998, a certain number of Brazilians went to jobs other than manufacture industries. Since the 5 6 7
Idem, dated December 11, 2007, idem, SALES, Tereza, p. 258. Sales, Tereza, op. cit., p. 260. NINOMIYA, Masato and TANAKA, Aurea Christine. â€œBrazilian Workers in Japanâ€?. University of Tokyo Journal of Law and Politics, vol. 1, Spring 2004, pp. 121 et seq.
beginning of the so-called Dekasegi8 phenomenon, referring to the Brazilians who went to work in Japan, there have been a number of problems that remain unsolved. 16. First, they were recruited saying that they were going to work in the factories of well-known enterprises, but the reality was that they were only part timers or employees of the enterprises, the empreiteiras that supply workers according to the convenience of big industries. The problem is again under the focus, in this moment of economical crisis, when this type of workers, Japanese or foreigner, are first to be fired. 17. Second, another question refers to Social Security. Japanese law obliges enterprises with more than 5 employees to join the Shakai Hoken, Social Security, which is a combined medical care and pension system. Nobody discusses the validity of joining the medical care system, for no one knows what can happen tomorrow. But many Brazilians started working based on the point of view that they are in Japan only on a temporary basis, probably 3 or 5 years, and Social Security has to be paid for 20 years and benefits allocated starting at age 60. The fact that Brazilians did not want to join Social Security brought benefit to the employers who did not have to pay their part. 18. The problem arose because many people are staying in Japan not for 5 years, but for 10, 15 or even 20 years. They are becoming old and without any pension in Japan or in Brazil. After trying a number of bureaucratic initiatives, the solution found was political. In May 2005, when Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made an official visit to Japan, he made a proposal to then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to discuss the matter on a bilateral governmental basis and try to reach an agreement about pensions. Since then, government negotiations were held three times in both countries and the fourth discussion is foreseen in the beginning of next June. We can, therefore, predict this agreement by the end of year or in early 2010. 19. Third, the problem of capital importance about Brazilians living in Japan is related to education of their children. Although Japanese Constitution obliges Japanese nationals to send their children to schools, it is not considered compulsory for foreigners. If they want to study in Japanese public schools, then, they will accept them. There are about 40,000 Brazilian children and teen-agers, and about 30,000 are in the school age. It is said that about 7,000 are in Brazilian schools. There are no exact figures of children in Japanese schools. The Ministry of Education and Science says only that there are about 8,000 children with Portuguese as mother tongue that have no knowledge of Japanese language and, then, they need to be helped. It is estimated that there are about 18,000 Brazilian children in Japanese schools, of which 8,000 need assistance in the Japanese language. There are extra teachers sent to schools with a certain number of Brazilians, in order to conduct the so-called â€œinternational classesâ€? with extra Japanese language classes. The situation was worse in the past, since, at the beginning of the Dekasegi phenomenon, cases of discrimination against Brazilian children were reported9. 8
Dekasegi is a word in Japanese which means somebody going out of his place to work. It used to happen in the rural area of Japan in Winter, when peasants used to go to cities to work in the non-skilled jobs to get some extra cash. It has somehow a sad and dark image of an era of poverty in Japan until the sixties, and depending on the case, there is a discriminatory sound. In Portuguese, however, it seems that the word had been adopted, since two major dictionaries in Brazil, the Aurelio and the Houaiss have adopted the word with the meaning of Brazilians who go to work in Japan. Until the end of the 20th Century, there were no cases of foreign children studying in Japanese schools, and Brazilian nikkei children, or mix-blood children, who could not speak or understand Japanese language, or had non-Japanese habits were many times discriminated. There were also discriminations against adults as we can see in the so-called Ana Borz case, a Shizuoka District Court sentence of 2003, in which a Japanese owner of a jewelery shop who ordered Ana Borz to leave his shop, when he realized she was a Brazilian, was ordered to pay a fine. It was a first Japanese judicial sentence condemning somebody with direct
20. The Brazilian schools in Japan naturally emerged from a necessity of Brazilian children who did not adapt themselves in Japanese schools. When the children begin studying at first or second grade of primary school, it is not difficult for them to adapt in Japanese schools, even if they have little knowledge of Japanese. Their Japanese colleagues are also beginning to learn and it is easy to be integrated. But when children are brought to Japan at age of more or less 10 years old, then they are put automatically in 3rd or 4th grade classes, and, then, they can not understand what is going on in the class. Quickly they lose interest in attending classes and soon they do not go to school any more. Since the law does not oblige foreigners to go to schools, parents have no legal responsibility to do it. Some parents with these children, then, try to put them in Brazilian schools. Even some parents, who plan to return to Brazil soon, also put the children to study in Brazilian schools. There are about 85 Brazilian schools in all Japan and among them, about 50 have been recognized by the Brazilian government and about 30 recognized by the Japanese government. 21. The economic crisis also hits the Brazilian schools in Japan. It is reported that about 3,000 students have cancelled their registration, as soon as their parents lost jobs. Since the monthly fee of these schools is about US$ 400 - 500, it seems that the first thing parents did when they were fired, was to cancel the registration of their children in Brazilian schools. We think most of these children will come back to Brazil in order to continue studying but there is also a number of people who will stay in Japan. We will only know about the approximate figure after the beginning of school terms in Brazil and in Japan, respectively on February 1 and April 1. 22. Finally, there are the criminal aspects involving Brazilians in Japan since they are contesting the second place with Filipinos and Vietnamese. The Chinese come first. However, in the matter of delinquency, Brazilian teen-agers are in the top of ranking. 23. Another matter of concern among authorities of both countries is the case of Brazilians committing crimes and after that, immediately escaping to Brazil. It is said there are almost 100 fugitive cases and the Brazilian government, by request of Japanese government, recently began to pursue and punish these nationals in the country, since the Brazilian Constitution prohibits extradition of nationals10.
2.3. Brazilians in the U. K. 24. Similarly to the aforementioned cases, economic reasons took about 150,000 Brazilians to the U.K. Initially, they were attracted by the strong Pound, and also the immigration difficulties in other countries, mainly in the U.S., besides discrimination suffered in other countries like Portugal and Spain. Despite the entrance to the U.K. of the nationals from East European countries, the Brazilian workers satisfy the needs of local market for their dedication, efficiency, efficacy and hygiene11. On the other hand, the death in a subway station, in 2005, of young Jean Charles de Menezes, suspect of being a terrorist by London police officers, shocked Brazilian society. Nevertheless, it did not prevent the continuous flow of Brazilians to the U.K. application of UN Convention Against All Forms of Racial Discrimination, ratified by Japan but still not adopted as internal legislation. 10
NINOMIYA, Masato and TANAKA, Aurea Christine. “Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between Brazil and Japan”. University of Tokyo Journal of Law and Politics, vol. 4, Spring 2007, pp. 65 et seq.
MELLINGER, Carlos. “Relatório sobre Comunidade Brasileira no Reino Unido”. In: Brasileiros no Mundo, I Conferência sobre as Comunidades Brasileiras no Exterior, 2008, Textos de Apoio, pp. 209 et seq.
25. Although a fall in the qualification of Brazilian workers has been noted recently, the school education level was high until 2007. 54% of Brazilians had completed High School education and 36% continued their studies afterwards12. It is important to consider that most Brazilians stay in London longer than an initially foreseen period of 2 years. 26. The main troubles faced by Brazilians are the lack of documentation, language barrier, informal jobs, integration problems not only with British but also with their own countrypersons. Additionally, another serious problem is that newcomers are victims of lack of information. In order to solve this problem, a variety of monthly and weekly publications among the Brazilian community naturally emerged. In this connection, there is an organization located in London called ABRAS - Associação Brasileira no Reino Unido, founded in 2006, counting more than 2,000 associates. The main objective of this association is to render orientation services to the community and to those who intend to migrate to U. K. 13 2.4. Brazilians in Portugal 27. As in other countries, except Japan, there is a discrepancy in the figures for Brazilians in Portugal, due to the presence of illegal stays. The official number provided by the Portuguese authorities 14 revealing the presence of about 65,000 Brazilians in that country, compares with the MRE figures (147,500), practically more than double. 28. An important point to be emphasized, as regards the Brazilians, is the characteristics they possess such as their professional skills and occupation in areas which demand technical knowledge. In this group it is possible to mention, among others, physicians, dentists, advertising agents and system analysts. These IT professionals were attracted by jobs created when Portugal was admitted to EU. 29. There were two distinct stages in the immigration process. The first one took place from 1980 through mid-1990, having, as majority, immigrants from the upper middle class who possessed high skill professional training and occupying jobs which demanded technical knowledge. On the other hand, the second wave of immigrants was formed by people of lower middle class, who looked for jobs in informal economy, domestic service, commerce and restaurants. One point to draw out is that the qualification of Brazilian immigrants is, on average, superior to that of the Portuguese15. 30. Another aspect to be mentioned is the discrimination against Brazilian women, who are unfortunately regarded by most of Portuguese as “comfort women”. 31. Finally, as regards the future, it must be considered some aspects which contribute to discontinue the flow of Brazilian immigrants into Portugal: the growth of the EU, which impacts the increase of jobs in an irregular situation; the salary differences relative to neighbouring countries such as Spain; and also the increase in restrictions against Brazilians entering European countries. In this respect, in 2006, a significant number of 1,749 Brazilians were refused entrance into Portugal, corresponding to 48.6 % of the total of refusals.
FERNANDES, Durval Magalhães and RIGOTTI, José Irineu Rangel. “Os Brasileiros na Europa: Notas Introdutórias”. Idem, Brasileiros no Mundo, Textos Acadêmicos, vol. 1, p. 284. MELLINGER, Carlos. Id., ibid. Relatório do Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras - SEF, apud FERNANDES, Durval Magalhães and RIGOTTI, José Irineu Rangel, op. cit., p.277. FERNANDES, Duval Magalhães and RIGOTTI, José Irineu Rangel, op. cit., pp. 277-278.
2.5. Brazilians in Italy 32. Immigration of Brazilians to Italy presents several aspects different from those observed in other European countries, due to the relations which this country maintained in the past, not only with Brazil, but also with other countries where Italians had emigrated. As a matter of fact, Italy is the only European country which allows acquisition of nationality by great-grand children of Italian immigrants, based upon the principle of jus sanguinis16. Notwithstanding Italy became a destination country after other European countries, its vicinity to Eastern European countries made the labour market more restricted. On the other hand, the greater facility in obtaining Italian passports for descendants has attracted a lot of Brazilians. 33. There are discrepancies in the figures on the number of Brazilians living in Italy. According to Consular Estimates of Brazilians in the World, of MRE-BR, of July 2008, the number of Brazilians in Italy was 132,00017. In contrast, data from the Brazilian Electoral High Court, the number of Brazilians in Italy is about 120,00018. On the other hand, following the registers of Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT) 19, there were only 32,416 Brazilians living in Italy, in January 2007. These figures show that there is a considerable number of Brazilians regarded as Italians by its government, using Italian passports. They are considered, however, Brazilians by the Brazilian government. 34. According to Rodrigo Lima, Vice-Consul of Brazil in Italy, the Brazilian community in that country is formed mainly by women (2/3 of total). Most of them have lower education level and, because they are married to Italians, stay away from social relations with their countrypersons20. 2.6. Brazilians in Spain 35. As in Portugal, the Spanish authorities also imposed restrictions to the entrance of Brazilians. According to Celso Amorim, Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, his government took immediate reciprocity measures against discrimination of Brazilians in admission to certain countries, including Spain21. As a consequence, the Brazilian authorities also refused the entrance of nationals from these countries into Brazil. 36. As to the insertion of about 110,000 Brazilian immigrants in the Spanish labor market, 86% of them are employees in regular situation with signed contracts. The service sector absorbed 8% of the employed workers followed by civil construction sector with 13% and the industry with 5%22
16 17 18
19 20 21 22
FERNANDES, Duval Magalhães and RIGOTTI, José Irineu Rangel, op. cit., p. 281. SASAKI PINHEIRO, Elisa Massae, op. cit., p. 593. According to the site of Brazilian Electoral High Court, available at http://agencia.tse.gov.br/sadAdmAgencia/noticiaSearch.do?acao=get&id=900801, accessed on March 10, 2009, at 10:45 PM. Apud FERNANDES, Duval Magalhães and RIGOTTI, José Irineu Rangel, id., ibid. See note 18. AMORIM, Celso, Jornal da Camara, June 18, 2008. Data from Spanish Ministry of Labor cited by RIPOLL, Érika M., “Espanha na Dinâmica das Migrações Internacionais: Um Breve Panorama da Situação dos Imigrantes Brasileiros na Espanha”, XV Encontro Nacional de Estudos Populacionais - ABEP, Caxambu, 2006, apud FERNANDES, Duval Magalhães and RIGOTTI, José Irineu Rangel, op. cit., pp. 280-281.
37. Among the immigrants living in Spain, totalling 4.5 million foreigners, there are Moroccans, Romanians and Latin Americans (Peruvians, Ecuadorians, Colombians, Bolivians). Nevertheless, Brazilians represent the group which had the largest growth: 34.2% between 2005-2006, and 25.2% between 2006-2007. 38.
It is important to note that women represented in 2007, 60.2% of the Brazilian residents in Spain.
39. The accomplishment of the plans, which justify migration, changes according to the time of stay. Initially, migrants wanted to build their own houses in Brazil and eventually to open a small business. On the other hand, in case they get authorization for the residence in Spain, they will endeavour to acquire real estate and, possibly in the future, will also succeed in obtaining the Spanish nationality. However, return to Brazil is considered only for vacations and, when retiring, a place to live. 40. As regards the profile, Brazilians in Spain have a higher level of education than those resident in 23 Portugal . 3. Brazilians in South America 41. The presence of Brazilians is very important in the countries with which Brazil has borders24, except Chile and Ecuador, especially in the orbit of MERCOSUR, Common Market of South, constituted by Argentina (with 38,500 Brazilians living), Brazil, Paraguay (with 487,517 Brazilians living) and Uruguay (with 18,848 Brazilians living). It was created by the Asuncion Treaty in 1991, aiming to strengthen the trade related links among the member countries. It is still in the process of forming of Customs Union and still long way ahead to become a Common Market, similarly to EU. 42. Additionally, considering the final objective of MERCOSUR as being an area of free circulation of goods, services and people among member countries, Paraguay became a special presence as regards the circulation of Brazilians in the both side of border. Consequently it emerged the so-called brasiguaios, who are Brazilians living in Paraguay or Brazilian workers who go to Paraguay in search of jobs, many times clandestine. As a matter of fact, more than half of foreigners resident in the country are Brazilians and represents almost 60% of Brazilians living in Latin American countries. 43.
There are 487,517 Brazilians living in Paraguay, which is 16.01% of the total abroad.
44. Until 1960’s, few Brazilians were living in Paraguay. However, in the 1970’s, the Itaipu hydroelectric plant was constructed at the border of the two countries and Brazilian peasants, whose were properties inundated by water from dam, did not receive enough compensation to buy new land on the Brazilian side. Therefore, they opted to go to neighbouring Paraguay where land was eight times cheaper. This was possible because in 1967, the Paraguayan government allowed the acquisition of land by foreigners, in a range of less than 150 km from its borders. 45. At this time, the process of huge mechanization of production of soybeans began on the Brazilian side. That was a reason that Brazilian peasants went to Paraguay looking for cheaper lands. The presence of brasiguaios, in spite of bringing economic boom to the region, provoked nationalist and xenophobic feelings among Paraguayans. There is a concern of Paraguayans about the weakness of their nationality identity in the border region. Brasiguaios keep speaking Portuguese, use Brazilian currency and own the 23
TÉCHIO, Kachia,. “Imigrantes Brasileiros Não Documentados: Uma Análise Comparativa entre Lisboa e Madri”, Socius Working Papers, n. 1, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, 2006, apud FERNANDES, Duval Magalhães and RIGOTTI, José Irineu Rangel, op. cit., p. 279. Consular Estimates of Brazilians in the World, see note 1. In Paraguay, there are 487,517 Brazilians.
most productive land. Their children speak Portuguese as a second language, instead of guarany, Spanish being the first language. 46. There is another problem, the racial one. Most brasiguaios have white skin since their ancestry came from Germany, Italy or slave countries, while most of Paraguayans are from mixed Spanish and native Guarany blood. 47. There is also a problem of documentations because many brasiguaios do not have Paraguayan IDs. And at the same time, many Brasiguaios born in Paraguay do not have Brazilian documents. It is worth mentioning that the total of Brazilian immigrants in Paraguay correspond approximately to 8% of its present population of about 6.6 million. 48. In Argentina, there are about 39,000 Brazilians in regular and irregular situations. It is said that the group of Brazilians living in illegal situation is about 3,700. 49. According to Ambassador Eduardo Gradilone, Director General of Consular and Brazilians Abroad Department, MRE-BR25, in Bolivia there are 15,000 to 20,000 so-called brasivianos. Similarly to the brasiguaios, it is a junction of Brazilians and Bolivians who also live in the border area of two countries. Due to the nationalistic policy adopted by Bolivia in recent years, many problems emerged in connection with the situation of brasivianos. In such circumstances, it will be necessary to negotiate bilateral understandings. 50. As far as the Brazilians in Guyana, despite the small number (about 2,000), its presence has been positive but the combat of illegality in the border area can put their rights at risk. Therefore, migration issues must be faced from both political and consular points of view. 51. In terms of combat of illegality, there is a similar situation involving Suriname (about 8,000 Brazilians) where Brazilians are accused of practice of illegal mining and hazard to the environment. It made the approval by the Surinamese Parliament of a migration agreement signed with Brazil difficult. 52. A similar situation can be noted in French Guyana (about 20,000 Brazilians). In February 2008, the Brazilian President Lula and his French colleague Sarkozy met in order to launch a project for building a bridge over Oiapoque River and agreed to develop joint actions against transnational crimes. The border relationship with a European country complicates the issue, once if influenced by a policy of restrictions to foreigners, possibility that can not be accepted which will represent a challenge to the Brazilian policy in protecting Brazilians in South American neighborhood. Conclusion 53. As has been observed, mainly in the case of Japan, there is a wave of Brazilians returning home because of the global crisis originated from the United States. We have seen a lot of impressive cases of human solidarity among the contrypersons with the support of local governments and communities in order to alleviate the housing and food difficulties. It is said that about 40,000 to 50,000 Brazilians came back over the last six months, because they have lost jobs and housings. It would be desirable that this contingent of Brazilians, before returning, evaluate, in a planned and organized way, the conditions and possibilities of having better opportunities in Brazil.
Plans and Actions by MRE in the Consular and Support Area for Brazilians Abroad”, a lecture delivered on October 11, 2008, at Annual Meeting of Collaborators of CIATE – Information Center and Support for Workers Abroad, in São Paulo.
Published on Sep 8, 2010
Published on Sep 8, 2010
This papers focuses on the historical background of the brazilian migration. It takes the cases of brazilians in: Japan, Portugal, UK, Spain...