The Mexican decision to suspend the existing agreement and once again require visas from Brazilians may heat up the illegal immigration market to the United States.
Besides being more expensive, border-crossing should become even more dangerous. This is the opinion of the head of consular services in the Brazilian Embassy in Mexico, Gustavo Guimarães.
“The visa requirement should reduce the flow of Brazilian who try to enter the United States by way of Mexico,” the diplomat acknowledges.
“Our concern now is with the remaining flow. The routes will become more and more unfriendly. When the border-crossing becomes a big business, it attracts the participation of criminal gangs connected with drug-trafficking and all other sorts of crime.”
According to Guimarães, two years ago it cost around US$ 4,000 to enter the United States by way of the Mexican border. The price is currently US$ 15,000 and it could possibly rise to US$ 25,000 in consequence of stricter border control.
Besides being financially vulnerable, Brazilians are likely to be subjected to longer treks across remote regions, far away even from Mexican villages.
The Brazilian Embassy has received reports of various acts of violence committed against illegal migrants in these areas. And, precisely in view of their irregular situation, the crimes against them go unreported.
Between January and July of this year, 7.2 thousand Brazilians were denied entry to Mexico, that is, they were not even allowed to leave the airport. Another 1.3 thousand were deported after being arrested by the Mexican police at border checkpoints.
Approximately 40 Brazilians return daily from Mexico to Brazil. Those who are barred at the airport usually await their flights in the departure terminal of the airport. Those arrested at the border spend nearly two weeks in detention centers awaiting deportation.