Since the Supreme Court decision to began denying citizenship to Dominican born children of undocumented immigrants, more and more Haitians are losing work and fear being deported. Back in January, the deputy minister of the Interior and Police told reporters that as of June 15th they will start deporting people ineligible for citizenship.
According to Bloomberg,
Anne Dimanche Saintil was born in the Dominican Republic, earned her nursing degree there and worked at a hospital in the capital, Santo Domingo. Then she was fired, because her parents were from Haiti.
Dimanche is among as many as 110,000 people living in the Dominican Republic without any legal status after the government, following a Supreme Court decision, began denying citizenship to Dominican-born children of undocumented immigrants, almost all of whom came from neighboring Haiti. She said she lacks official paperwork on her birth because she was born at home, and now fears she’ll be deported to Haiti, a country she doesn’t know.
“You’re living in the place that’s your home, where you grew up, but it’s like you are a foreigner,” the 27-year-old Dimanche said. “I don’t know what my future is here.”
President Danilo Medina’s government can start deporting people ineligible for citizenship after June 15, Washington Gonzalez, deputy minister of the Interior and Police, told reporters in January. With only 8,755 people enrolled in a government process to offer a path to citizenship, forced deportations could send tens of thousands of people out of what was one of the Western Hemisphere’s fastest-growing economies last year into its poorest.
“The Dominican Republic’s actions against Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent are shameful examples of discrimination and violations of basic human rights,” Carlos Ponce, director of Latin America programs at Freedom House, a Washington-based organization that promotes political and civil liberties, said in a Feb. 13 statement.
Haitian migrants have filled construction and agriculture jobs, helping the Dominican Republic’s economy to expand 7.1 percent last year, according to central bank figures.
Fermin Acosta, president of the Dominican Housing Builders and Developers Association, said 260,000 to 270,000 undocumented Haitians work in the construction industry and that deportations would paralyze the economy.
“A massive repatriation of Haitians would not just affect construction, but also other sectors, such as agriculture,” he said.
Haiti would also find it hard to absorb so many returnees. The country, devastated by an earthquake in 2010, has the lowest income per capita in the Americas at $852, compared with $5,894 in the Dominican Republic. – Continue Reading here