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#960: Preval on deportations (fwd)
Expulsions Anger Haitian President
.c The Associated Press
By MICHAEL NORTON
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - President Rene Preval on Sunday condemned the
expulsion of more than 2,000 illegal Haitian residents from the Dominican
Republic over the past 10 days.
He accused the Dominican government of expelling the Haitians without
allowing them fair hearings or allowing them to collect their belongings.
``We have already protested officially to the Dominican government,'' Preval
said, before flying to Cuba to attend the Ibero-American Summit. He said he
was demanding that deportations be carried out ``in conformity with
The increased expulsions began Nov. 5, said Haitian National Migration Office
director Carol Joseph, in an interview with The Associated Press.
Until then, the average weekly number of expulsions was about 200, he said.
The Dominican military said it had sent reinforcements to the border to stop
illegal crossings, but denied it had planned a sweep of Haitians residing
illegally in the country.
Most of the Haitians had been recruited in December and January to work on
Dominican sugar plantations. Accused of overstaying, they were rounded up in
towns not on plantations.
Many are Haitians who do not have citizenship papers, but were born and
raised in the Dominican Republic by illegal immigrants, Joseph said.
The expulsions follow a report issued by the Inter-American Human Rights
Commission two weeks ago condemning the treatment of Haitians living in the
On Friday, more than 1,100 Haitians were expelled at Ouanaminthe, an official
expulsion point on the northern border, Joseph said.
Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP
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