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  • The two previous deportation expeditions are the first authorized by the government of the South American nation since 2006 and mark a policy change by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who is known for his full-Trump acceptance.

    The two previous deportation expeditions are the first authorized by the government of the South American nation since 2006 and mark a policy change by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who is known for his full-Trump acceptance. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 January 2020

The flight that will arrive in Belo Horizonte from El Paso, Texas, loaded with Brazilians, marks a policy change by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has sought closer ties with Washington.

The U.S. government will deport the second planeload of Brazilians, from El Paso, Texas, since last October given the increasing number of migrants trying to enter the United States illegally from Mexico, News Agency Reuters reported.

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The flight will arrive in Belo Horizonte on Saturday morning, Brazilian Foreign Minister, Ernesto Araujo confirmed. The two previous deportation expeditions are the first authorized by the government of the South American nation since 2006 and mark a policy change by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has sought closer ties with Washington.

Brazil has previously refused to receive mass deportations from the United States and is now allowing these transfers to help Donald Trump’s policy of speeding up deportations of illegal migrants at the Mexican border.

 “What else can we do? They are being detained at the border and aren’t going to be able to enter the United States. We have to bring them home,” a local official told Reuters when asked about the migrants' situation.

In Bogotá during the Conference on Combating Terrorism, I had a bilateral meeting today with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We talked about so many areas in which Brazil and the USA are cooperating like never before: economic growth, security, promotion of democracy and freedom.

Trump has made restricting legal and illegal immigration a central focus of his presidency and his 2020 reelection campaign. His administration has issued a series of sweeping policies seeking to limit access to U.S. asylum at the Mexico border and has pledged to ramp up deportations of migrants living illegally in their territory.

Matthew Albence, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which coordinates deportation flights, said larger flights were more efficient, but did not provide details of the flight set to depart for Brazil on Friday.

For the moment, U.S immigration authorities have the power to use the accelerated removal policy that consists of deporting the undocumented who enter by land and are located less than 160 kilometers from the border or those who have less than two weeks on American soil, without a hearing before a judge of immigration.

In the case of those who arrive in the country by sea, the policy can be enforced in any region up to two years after their arrival in the United States. 

The increase in Brazilians arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum has led the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to consider sending them back to Mexico to await court hearings under a new program that currently applies only to Spanish speakers.

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