On Monday, August 6, the Supreme Court overturned a decision made the day prior by a judge in Brazil’s Roraima state to close the border to Venezuelan migrants. In total, Venezuelans were only denied entry for several hours.
Roraima state is a main crossing point for Venezuelans fleeing their country. According to state officials, around 500 Venezuelans enter Brazil here every day, and many stay in Roraima because they cannot afford to continue traveling into the country. Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima, reportedly hosts 25,000 Venezuelans. According to the judge who initially ordered the partial closure, the border should be shut until the state can transfer a larger number of immigrants into other parts of Brazil. Roraima’s governor supported the ruling, claiming that the state had been requesting increased financial assistance for health and educational services among the influx. Roraima, notably Boa Vista, has also reportedly experienced a spike in crime rates attributed to the migrant crisis.
Over a million Venezuelan refugees have fled the country, with a large percentage taking refuge in Colombia and Brazil. The migrant crisis is expected to worsen throughout 2018 as Venezuela's economy continues to falter. The IMF has estimated that by the end of 2018 the Venezuelan economy will shrink by 15 percent and inflation in the country could reach 1,000,000 percent. Venezuelans face shortages of gasoline, food, medicine, and other basic necessities, as well as extreme rates of violent crime, social unrest, and an ongoing political crisis.
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