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8841: D.R. and Haiti in latest Migration News report (fwd)

From: Stuart M Leiderman <leidermn@cisunix.unh.edu>

Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001 21:18:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: Migrant News PLM <migrant@primal.ucdavis.edu>
To: migrant@primal.ucdavis.edu
Subject: Aug2001 MN Issue


Vol. 8, No. 8, August, 2001

Editor: Philip Martin
Managing Editor: Cecily Sprouse
Department of Ag and Resource Economics,
One Shields Ave
University of California, Davis
Davis CA 95616
Tel (530) 752-1530
Fax: (530) 758-4928
Email: migrant@primal.ucdavis.edu
Home Page: http://migration.ucdavis.edu

Dominican Republic-Haiti.  The Dominican Republic in July 2001 announced
that it would no longer require birth certificates for students in
secondary schools, thus opening the doors to children born in the
Dominican Republic to undocumented Haitian immigrants.  Haiti's embassy
in the Dominican Republic estimated that there are 280,000 children born
to undocumented Haitians in the Dominican Republic, and a total of 1.1 to
1.5 million Haitians in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican Vice President and Education Minister Milagros Ortiz Bosch
explained, "Dominican laws already guarantee the right to an education to
all children.  But if you want to get a job, open a bank account, travel,
vote, simply be a citizen, you need a birth certificate."  Activists for
Haitians and those of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic
(Dominoco-Haitians) want the government to issue birth certificates to
all children born in the Dominican Republic, not simply end the need to
show a birth certificate to enroll in secondary school.

President Mej°a, elected in 2000, asserted that the Dominican Republic
"was experiencing a peaceful invasion of Haitians."  His spokesperson
said: "That statement has nothing to do with racist sentiments.  It's a
fact."  The Dominican constitution provides citizenship to persons born
in Dominican Republic, but not to children born to parents who are "in
transit," and the Dominican Republic government considers Haitians to be
"in transit."  He said: "The roundups... will continue to be done against
illegal immigrants."

According to a US Department of State report issued in 2001, the
Dominican government repatriated 12,500 to 36,362 Haitians in 2000.

Human Rights Watch and other groups say that Haitians are tolerated in
rural areas, such as on sugar plantations, but harassed when they seek
non-agricultural work in towns.  Most Haitians in the Dominican Republic
live in village-like settlements, known as bateyes, with mud huts of
thatched roofs and dirt floors near the sugar cane fields.  Rev. Pedro
Ruquoy, a leader of a three-year-old advocacy group in Neiba, Dominican
Republic called Plataforma Vida says that Haitians are often humiliated
by Dominican Republic authorities.

Haitians continue to migrate to the Dominican Republic, attracted by
recruiters or buscones.  Many cross the R°o Masacre (Massacre River)
illegally near Dajab˘n -the place where 17,000 to 30,000 Haitians were
slaughtered in 1937 by the Dominican army under orders from dictator
RafaÇl Trujillo.  Many Haitians wade across the shallow river with cash
for Dominican Republic border guards.

- - - - - - -

Stuart M. Leiderman
Environmental Response