Saturday, July 04, 2009

Brazil's Lula Scolds Rich Nations on Migration

Brazil's Lula Scolds Rich Nations on Migration
AFP July 3, 2009


Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva issued a
law giving tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants
legal status and criticized rich nations for taking a
tough stance against illegal migrants.

He also once again blamed the global economic crisis on
"men with blue eyes," a controversial accusation that
he first leveled during a meeting in March with British
Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

His advisors have said the expression was a "metaphor."

"Blame for the crisis that was provoked by men with
blue eyes must not fall on the blacks, the Indians, and
the poor of the world," Lula said during a speech in
Brasilia on Thursday.

He also accused European countries, without naming any
in particular, of toughening immigration rules, which
he deemed "unjust."

"In our eyes, repression, discrimination and
intolerance do not address the root of the problem," he

"Illegal immigration is a humanitarian question that
should not be confused with criminality," added the
Brazilian leader, who was wearing the traditional
clothes of Bolivia and Paraguay, the home countries of
many of Brazil's immigrants.

The law issued by Lula allows all undocumented
foreigners who entered Brazil before last February to
obtain two-year provisional residency permits that can
be made permanent.

All recipients will be entitled to work and receive
public education and healthcare.

Brazil's Justice Department says there are around
60,000 undocumented foreigners in the country, but non-
governmental groups believe the number could be as high
as 200,000 illegal immigrants, with most coming from
Latin America and China.

Copyright c 2009 AFP.

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