Jair Bolsonaro has been in Florida since his post-Presidential days. But Joe Biden's administration is under pressure from leftists in Latin America and U.S. lawmakers to expel the former President of Brazil from Florida after his supporters’ attacked government buildings in Brazil over the weekend.

But Bolsonaro may pre-empt any plans for a move like this. He recently said that he would push up his return home, which was originally scheduled for late January. He was hospitalized with abdominal pains that stemmed from a 2018 stabbing, reported the Associated Press. Bolsonaro had said that he had come to Florida to "spend some time away with my family but these weren’t calm days." He noted that first there was this "sad episode in Brazil and then my hospitalization.”

According to The Guardian, he arrived in Florida on Dec. 30, when he was still the President. He could have entered on an A-1 visa that is reserved for leaders from different countries. Bolsonaro is said to be staying at the Orlando-area house of Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter Jose Aldo, who is his strong supporter.

His visit to Florida went largely unnoticed in the U.S. until Sunday’s attack by thousands of his supporters who had been camping for weeks outside a military base in Brasilia. They refused to accept Bolsonaro’s narrow defeat in the October 2022 election. They attacked Brazil’s Supreme Court, Congress and Presidential Palace. During the attack, glasses were broken, computers were smashed and artwork was slashed.

Following the destruction, Democrats voiced concern about Bolsonaro’s stay in the U.S. They drew parallels between the rampage in Brazil and the Jan. 6, 2021, riot by supporters of former President Donald Trump. They had stormed the Capitol to try to overturn the U.S. Presidential election results at the time.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is among those calling for Biden to expel Bolsonaro. The New York City lawmaker said that nearly two years to the day the U.S. Capitol was "attacked by fascists, we see fascist movements abroad attempt to do the same in Brazil." She added that the U.S. "must cease granting refuge to Bolsonaro in Florida.”

On Monday, State Department spokesman Ned Price sidestepped questions about Bolsonaro’s presence in America. But he said that anyone entering the U.S. on an A-1 visa would have 30 days to either leave the U.S. or adjust their status with the Department of Homeland Security at the conclusion of their term of office.

Meanwhile, Financial Times reported that Bolsonaro plans to return to Brazil soon as prosecutors are trying to seize his assets.

Jair Bolsonaro
Brazil's defeated former president, Jair Bolsonaro, waited hours before urging calm during riots by his supporters in Brasilia. Photo by: AFP/Tercio Teixeira

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