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Dominican Republic Preparing To Deport Haitian Families


The Dominican government says that after 7 p.m. tomorrow, anyone who can’t show papers proving they’re in the country legally will be subject to expulsion. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians and people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic have been scrambling to abide. The deportation threat has sparked international protests, including a “Black Lives Matter in the Dominican Republic” rally in New York yesterday. Part of the outrage stems from concern that the deportees will include people born in the country, who had once believed they were Dominican citizens.

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In 2013 the Dominican Republic Constitutional Court ruled that those born in the D.R. to Haitian parents without proper documentation (legal immigrant status) were not citizens of the Dominican Republic, even if in possession of a Dominican Republic birth certificate.Many railed against the ruling because of the inhumanity of stripping the citizenship of those who were born in the Dominican Republic and have lived their entire lives in the country. Others argued that the government was within its rights because the Dominican Republic does not automatically grant citizenship to those born on Dominican soil without proper documentation.

The fact that many born to Haitian parents had obtained birth certificates does not make them valid or legal citizens just because they have lived, loved, worked and purchased property in the D.R.  As if the loss of citizenship weren’t enough, reports have surfaced that the government has now planned a mass deportation of Dominicans who are no longer considered Dominican because of their Haitian parentage and lack of proper paperwork. Thousands of Dominicans born to Haitian parents are now eligible to be detained and deported to neighboring Haiti if they have not secured legal documentation by this week’s deadline.


Haitians and other non-citizens stood in long lines across the Dominican Republic on Monday in last-minute bids to secure legal residency, hurrying to beat a looming paperwork deadline along with the threat of possible quick deportation

Lines snaked outside Interior Ministry offices as foreign residents, who are overwhelmingly from neighboring Haiti, sought to submit papers before a 7 p.m. Wednesday deadline. Many said they have had to spend all day and return multiple times after being told they lacked sufficient documentation to complete the applications.

“You still have to bring more papers. It’s always hard, but we’ll see,” bricklayer Aime Morette said as he waited with more than 140 other people to submit his application.

Morette, a 28-year-old who has a wife and two children, said he has lived more than half his life in the Dominican Republic, but that doesn’t automatically qualify him for legal residency under an initiative begun last year aimed at regulating the migration of workers who have long flowed across the border from Haiti.  Under the program, the government said it would consider granting legal residency to non-citizens who could establish their identity and prove they arrived before October 2011.

Officials estimated up to 500,000 people were in this category, and relatively few have been able to provide sufficient documentation. Interior Minister Ramon Fadul said about 250,000 people have at least started the application process but only 10,000 had met all the requirements for legal residency. So far, only about 300 have actually received permits. Fadul has said anyone who does not register could be deported. While officials have said there will be no mass round-ups, authorities have prepared 12 buses and opened processing centers along the border with Haiti to expedite repatriations.

Part of the problem has been that employers in the Dominican Republic are not providing workers with documentation to prove they have been in the country long enough to qualify. Another hurdle has been the Haitian government, which despite pledges to improve the process has been slow to provide birth certificates and other forms of identification to its citizens and has charged more than many people can afford to pay.

Molaire Cadon, a 66-year-old who came across the border as a 13-year-old to work in Dominican sugar cane fields, said he has been waiting for months and gone multiple times to the Haitian Embassy in Santo Domingo trying to get his birth certificate. “They always tell me it will come but they give me nothing,” he said.

The Dominican government launched the program after international criticism of a 2013 ruling by its Supreme Court that people born in the country to non-citizens all the way back to 1929 did not qualify for citizenship, effectively stripping tens of thousands of people of their nationality.

The government has announced that it plans to restore nationality for more than 50,000 people who were born in the country and enrolled in a civil registry.

Haitian Jaquenol Martinez shows a card that proves that he has worked in the Dominican sugar cane fields since 1963, while trying to apply for a temporary resident permit, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monday, June 15, 2015. Hundreds of Haitians are waiting in long lines throughout the Dominican Republic trying to secure legal residency as they face the threat of deportation. The government has given non-citizens until Tuesday to register under an initiative aimed at regulating the flow of migrants from neighboring Haiti. (AP Photo/Ezequiel Abiu Lopez) – Yahoo News
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  • Are you serious??? How many Dominicans migrated to the US over the past years due to economical and political difficulties? Now they want to kick foreigners out of THEIR country? What a load of crap.

    • Well, How many Dominicans have been deported from USA and Europe every year? We don’t blame USA when they do so. Any person that goes to another country illegally has to know that will face deportation if gets caught. I don’t see what part of the law is not understood…

  • They migrated legally. Any country would do the same with illegal immigrants.

    • Then immigration laws in all countries should be bullshit too. Why doesn’t USA open borders with Mexico? Why doesn’t USA just give a green card to all illegal people living in their territory at this moment?



    • Who are you? Where are you from? Wherever you are from, Fuck your own country! and have a good day 🙂

    • I am Dominican, thanks for your comment, you’re just an ignorant and should be ignored.
      the Haitian government has all the blame for not providing its citizens with papers, all this illegal foreigner in a country is deported, the Dominican Republic will not be the first to let illegal do what they want in their territory.

  • dominicans come to the us illegally and pretend to be puertoricans. the most ridiculous thing u can see is when dominicans talk about their european ancestry while the blackness is right in their faces

    • Lyonel, not all Dominicans are the same. Not all haitians are the same, not all people from USA are the same. Yes, a lot of dominicans pretend to be puertoricans to get papers, a lot of haitians do the same, a lot of ecuatorians do the same, but the actions of an illegal person in another country don’t determine how we, Dominicans living in our country, have to live. We have our own laws, and our own country. If we decided that all illegals from anywhere have to go to a regularization process (the government gave 18 months to complete the process), and most of illegals didn’t do anything, gambling to a boycott maybe, it is not our fault. We have the right to rule our own house. If hundreds of thousands of Dominicans decide to go illegally to USA and they get caught, it is their individual responsibility, we don’t blame USA for deporting them back to DR. In fact, we don’t protest on the streets because of that, we are conscious that they violated an immigration law, and they know what comes next if they get caught.

      So don’t find it ridiculous to have the house in order. And about “Our European ancestry”, we are indeed a mixture of Black, White, and Tainos, and not all of Dominicans are proud of the “European ancestry” for your information. I don’t thank Spanish people for “discovering” us. Please do not generalize. We are not all the same. Maybe the Dominicans that you know are alike, and it is a pity, but here we are not that way.

      • The worst in all of that are the accusation of Dominican racism against Haïtians. I was born in France, lived many years in Canada, and now I am a resident of DR. I can assure you that dealing with Dominican public service is nightmare, and the color of my skin is pure white. Haïtian love to fight for everything, Dominicans tend more to accept things as they are. I am not a racist, this country is not racist Burning the Dominican flag is not going to help those who sincerely want to have a normal family life here. Try to do this in the US. Good luck!

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