Bolsonaro Withdraws Brazil From UN Migration Pact

New Brazilian president immediately cancels devastating agreement

Image Credits: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has announced his country’s withdrawal from the United Nations Global Compact for Migration just days after taking office.

The former military officer, dubbed “Trump of the Tropics,” followed the American president’s lead in rejecting the highly-controversial agreement and fulfilled his vow to reverse the course set by outgoing President Michel Temer’s administration, which joined over 160 others in signing on to the pact at a summit in Morocco last month.

Bolsonaro announced the pull-out in a series of tweets, confirming reports that the Brazilian Foreign Ministry had already ordered diplomats to inform the UN of the decision.

“Brazil is sovereign to decide whether or not to accept migrants,” Bolsonaro tweeted in Portuguese. “Anyone who comes here must be subject to our laws, rules and customs, as well as sing our anthem and respect our culture. It is not just anyone who enters our house, nor will anyone enter Brazil via a pact adopted by third parties. NO TO THE MIGRATION PACT.”

Bolsonaro issued additional statements on the matter, including a comprehensive declaration translated into English.

“We will never refuse help to those who need it, but immigration cannot become an indiscriminate act,” he said. “Criteria are needed, seeking the best solution according to the reality of each country. It is imperative for us to establish proper criteria for each country.”

“If we control those who enter our homes, why should it be any different with Brazil as a nation? Defending our national sovereignty has been a key part of our campaign and it is now a priority of our government. We shall establish rules without external influence, seeking to better the lives of those who reside legally in Brazil – citizen or immigrant alike.”

With the exception of the United States, all 193 United Nations member states originally agreed to the language of the migration compact in July.

However, only 164 countries ultimately signed on as concerns over its ramifications deterred a growing list of governments from countries such as Australia, Poland, Hungary, Israel, and Switzerland.

Dan Lyman: