Justice has banned the Brazilian government from deporting migrants considered hypervulnerable, such as children, pregnant women, people with health problems and deserters – as the federal police had done with Venezuelan refugees in Roraima and Amazonas.
Federal judge Felipe Bouzada Flores Viana, of the 2nd Federal Civil Court of Roraima, issued an injunction this Sunday (21) at night fixing a fine of R $ 10,000 for each expulsion that violates the decision. In addition, he prohibited the security forces from “entering shelters for migrants in vulnerable situations or other places where they live, such as houses or occupations (…) without having previously demonstrated the existence of a just cause ”and set a fine. R $ 100,000 per invasion.
The decision is preliminary and has yet to be ratified.
The measure follows a public civil action brought by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office. The process took place following the invasion, by teams of the federal police and civil and military agents from Roraima, of a refugee shelter managed by Pastoral do Migrante which hosts around 55 Venezuelan women and children in Pacaraima, the 17th of March.
During the invasion, the nun who runs the place, Sister Ana Maria da Silva, 60, was arrested and taken to the police station to testify. The police were armed and hooded. The women and children were sent for deportation, but ended up being received in an Operation Shelter shelter after the intervention of Caritas and the DPU.
“The decision recognized the human rights violations that were taking place in the border region, determining that people recognized as hypervulnerable, who are children and their families, people with serious health problems and deserters, are not deported. », Said the regional defender of. human rights Ronaldo de Almeida Neto.
Roraima’s government said forces were on the scene to support a municipality’s health surveillance team, which had received an agglomeration complaint at the site, contrary to the municipal decree in force due to the pandemic. of Covid-19. For the defense, the action was not motivated by health reasons and aimed to return the women and children to deportation.
Wanted, federal police said they did not comment on court rulings.
The Brazilian government has been blocking the overland entry of anyone from Venezuela, even those with family members in Brazil, since the start of last year.
The ordinance currently in force, 652 of January 25, 2021, determines that it is forbidden for foreigners of all nationalities to enter Brazil by land, but there are several exceptions: immigrants with permanent residence in the country, those who have a spouse, a Brazilian partner, son or father, and holders of the National Migration Register (former RNE).
The exceptions apply to all nationalities, with the exception of people coming from Venezuela, who cannot enter Brazil by land under any circumstances.
The state of Roraima launched Operation Horus at the end of February, with the aim of protecting the borders and combating the illegal immigration of Venezuelans. According to the state government press office, around 1,500 Venezuelans enter irregularly per week, without health checks. According to the government, irregular migrants can overwhelm the state’s health system amid the pandemic.
In the preliminary ruling, the federal judge also ordered the annulment of the summary deportations of six Venezuelan refugees, allowing them to return to the country. And he determined the Union to refrain from making “apparent rounds, inspection barriers or documentary checks aimed at intimidating and preventing migrants from accessing public and private health and social assistance facilities. , available in the municipality of Pacaraima ”.
According to the DPU, cases of summary expulsion and persecution of refugees in Roraima have increased. The current ordinance stipulates that any foreigner who enters the country irregularly is “disabled” to seek refuge.
The vast majority of Venezuelans have few resources and can only enter Brazil by land and not by air, as the ordinance allows. They end up entering irregularly and therefore cannot seek refuge and may be deported.