SAO PAULO _ The Brazilian government says it will grant permanent residence to more than 43,000 Haitians who entered the country illegally.
Justice Secretary Beto Vasconcelos says Wednesday’s announcement will help Haitians access education, health and other services.
He says it will also give officials a chance to urge them to have relatives still in Haiti come on legal humanitarian visas rather than turn to people-trafficking rings.
Large numbers of Haitians began immigrating to Brazil after a 2010 earthquake devastated the island nation. Consular officials in Haiti haven’t been able to keep up with demand for humanitarian vistas.
Around 400 Haitians per month apply for humanitarian visas, but Vasconcelos says about 2,000 Haitians are thought to enter Brazil each month illegally, usually on a route via Panama and then Peru.
The Associated Press