“People should not be deprived of their rights to health and public service just because their application has not yet been processed… In these exceptional times, the rights of migrants must be guaranteed.” said Claudio Veloso, spokesperson for Portugal’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Reuters reported yesterday that Portugal’s migrants are to “treated as permanent residents from Monday until at least July 1”. So, in reality, while Portugal’s government ministers attempt to frame this move as a magnanimous act of kindness, it’s important to note that this is merely a temporary change in status. Clearly there’s a recognition here that they have no hope in hell of fighting this pandemic in their country if they pick and choose who should have access to health services but, by recognise this fact, are they not also acknowledging that these people are human beings too?
Of course the Portuguese administration are not the only authority to demonstrate that they are comfortable with the idea of recognising humanity when it suits them. The British government has suddenly found an entire orchard of money trees to pay for all manner of things – covering peoples wages, recruiting (or at least trying to hire) thousands of NHS staff and police officers, contracts to build and/or supply medical equipment etc. It’s quite something when the ruling elite begrudgingly acknowledge their own survival relies on the well being of the people that work for them.
Meanwhile, over in the Cuckoo’s nest, Trump thinks he’s untouchable and it’ll all be over in a flash, while US citizens who don’t carry medical insurance are dying from COVID-19 daily because they’ve been refused treatment. Ask yourself this folks, with all the wealth and power that they have, why is the USA the least safest place to be on the planet right now?