[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

#971: Haiti protests Dominicans' deportation of 2,000 of its citizens (fwd)


Published Tuesday, November 16, 1999, in the Miami Herald 
 Haiti protests Dominicans' deportation of 2,000 of its citizens
 From Herald Staff and Wire Reports 

 PORT-AU-PRINCE -- President Rene Preval has 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 giving them fair hearings or allowing them to
collect their belongings. ``We have already protested officially to the
Dominican government,'' Preval said Sunday before flying to Cuba to
attend the Ibero-American Summit. He said he was demanding that
deportations be carred out ``in conformity with international
 norms.'' The increased expulsions began Nov. 5, Haitian National
Migration office director Carol Joseph said 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 the plantations. Many are Haitians
who do not have citizenship papers, but were born and raised in the
Dominican Republic by illegal immigrants, Joseph said.
 On Friday, more than 1,100 Haitians were expelled at Ouanaminthe, an
official expulsion point on the northern border, Joseph said.
 The roundups and expulsions are a periodic phenomenon, particularly as
national elections approach in the Dominican Republic, which shares the
island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The World Bank estimated last year that
800,000 Haitians were in the Dominican Republic. The International
Office on Migration, a worldwide organization funded by governments,
estimates that there are 400,000 to 650,000 Haitians in the
 Dominican Republic, more than 90 percent of whom are in an
``irregular'' situation. It also estimates that 16,000 Haitians enter
the Dominican Republic ``irregularly'' each year, with about 5,000
returning annually, 90 percent of them ``involuntarily.'' The most
recent expulsions followed a report issued by the Inter-American
 Human Rights Commission two weeks ago condemning the treatment of
Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. In Santo Domingo, the
Dominican Foreign Ministry responded to the commission's report, noting
the complex historical process that has led to the present situation,
which, it said, ``under no circumstances has been caused by
 the present [Dominican] administration.