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#919: Dominicans accused of large Haitian expulsions (fwd)


Dominicans accused of large  Haitian expulsions
 November 9, 1999  Web posted at: 8:46 PM EST (0146 GMT) 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Dominican soldiers have begun massive
expulsions of Haitians there, the director of the Haitian National
Migration  Office said Tuesday.  The deportations started just days
after the Organization of American states  accused the Dominican
government of ill-treating its Haitian population.  Since Friday, about
1,000 Haitians have been expelled across the border  shared by the two
countries on Hispaniola island, Haitian migration director  Carol Joseph
said. In the past, the average weekly expulsions numbered          
about 200, he said.    The Dominican military said it had sent
reinforcements to the border over the  weekend to stop illegal
crossings.  The move follows a critical report released 10 days ago by
the OAS Inter-American Human Rights Commission, criticizing the
Dominican  government for denying citizenship to tens of thousands of
children born in  that country to illegal Haitian immigrants.       
Most of the Haitians expelled in the latest roundups were recruited last
year  to work in the Dominican sugar harvest, Joseph said. They were
accused of  overstaying. A few were Haitians born and raised in the
Dominican Republic who do not  have citizenship papers, he said. He
accused the Dominicans of violating the  migrants' human rights by
denying them time to collect their belongings or  argue their cases
before immigration officials. "It is a lamentable situation," he said.
"The Haitians are summarily expelled  and without prior notification of
the Haitian government, in violation of  agreements signed by our two
governments."  But Dominican Immigration Director Danilo Diaz said the
Haitian  government had violated agreements by failing to curb illegal
migrants.  "We still have not received cooperation from the Haitian
government," Diaz  said. "That has been one of our points -- that there
must be better control by  Haitian authorities to ensure that their
nationals are not coming into our territory illegally." Haitian
authorities complain that political confusion and bitter poverty in
that  country has hobbled law-enforcement efforts. Joseph, meanwhile,
said he feared the OAS report had whipped up  anti-Haitian sentiment and
led to the expulsions.  "I fear the worst, that more and more Haitians
will be expelled," he said.  On Monday, about 240 people were expelled
near the border town of Ouanaminthe, about 72 miles (120 kilometers)
northeast of the  Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, Joseph said. He
said the rest were expelled at remote, unofficial crossings where the
National Migration Office was unable to control their flow.  Over the
weekend, 300 to 350 were expelled at Anse-a-Pitre, about 48 miles (80
kilometers) southeast of the capital. About 100 were expelled at 
Belladere, about 45 miles (75 kilometers) northwest of the capital.