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#828: U.S. Group Blasts Dominican Gov't (fwd)


Saturday October 30 12:28 AM ET  U.S. Group Blasts Dominican Gov't

 By JOSE MONEGRO Associated Press Writer 

 SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) - The Organization of American
States harshly criticized the Dominican Republic on Friday for allowing
children of Haitian migrants who are born here to be considered illegal
residents. In a report, the organization's Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights urged the Dominican government to give Haitian
 migrants work and residency papers and to make their children born in
the country legal residents. According to the commission, the government
uses a ``restrictive interpretation'' of the constitution that considers
children of foreign nationals born in the Dominican Republic to be ``in
transit.'' ``It is not possible to consider in transit people who have
resided numerous years in a country where they have developed ties
 of all kinds,'' the report said. The Dominican Office of External
Affairs declined to comment Friday, saying only that officials were
preparing an official response to the report. Dominican nationalists
said the commission was meddling.``This is simply unacceptable,'' said
Pedro Manuel Casals Victoria, director of the Nationalist Union. ``It's
a vulgar intrusion into internal affairs.'' Haitian diplomat Guy Lamothe
said as many as 280,000 children born to undocumented Haitians in the
Dominican Republic live there illegally. An estimated 1 million to 1.5
million Haitians live in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island
of Hispaniola with Haiti. Dominicans long have feared being overrun by
Haitians. Both countries have about 8 million people, but Haiti, the
poorest country in the hemisphere, has half as much land, most eroded
beyond agricultural use while the Dominican Republic is verdant with a
booming economy.