U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a phone meeting with Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carlos França on Monday afternoon, to discuss migration issues. Mr. Blinken called on Brazil to help halt the flow of illegal immigration to the U.S. and neighboring countries.
The Secretary of State expressed his concerns over “the unprecedented movements of illegal migration throughout the hemisphere,” according to the State Department’s spokesperson, Ned Price. “They discussed further collaboration to halt the growing uncontrolled flow of irregular migrants in the region,” he adds.
Mr. Blinken also clarified that he “recognizes” Brazil’s leadership “in assisting vulnerable populations of migrants, including Haitians and Venezuelans.”
Meanwhile, the U.S.’s top diplomat called Chilean Foreign Minister Andrés Allamand to discuss similar issues. He “expressed appreciation” for his counterpart’s planned participation in an October 20 migration summit in Bogota and “Chile’s ongoing support for refugees and migrants from the region, particularly from Venezuela and Haiti.” The pair also discussed the documentation requirements to legalize migrants’ status under Chile’s new immigration law.
Chile is facing an immigration crisis. Between 2020 and 2021, the illegal entry of migrants – mainly from Haiti and Venezuela – rose 82 percent. Chilean officials complain that the country receives significantly more immigrants than Brazil, despite being much smaller. Chile is currently home to around 457,300 Venezuelan migrants. Meanwhile, Brazil received 261,400, according to the most recent estimations from R4V, an interagency organization to assist refugees and migrants from Venezuela.
South American government officials tell The Brazilian Report that coordinated efforts to tackle the immigration crisis throughout the region are “minimal.” They also expect more prominent leadership from Brazil.