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8939: Dominican Haitian news compilation August-July 2001 (fwd)

From: Yacine Khelladi <yacine@yacine.net>

All are from source: DR1 news (http://www.dr1.com) dayly dominican press
review in  english

> DR1 Daily News -- Wednesday, 22 August 2001
> ********************************************************************
> 9. Dominican solidarity with Haitians
> Diplomat and university professor Jean G. Bissainthe wrote today in his column in Hoy newspaper about the long years of Dominican solidarity with Haitians. He comments that he frequently stops to talk to Haitian construction workers in Santo Domingo who tell him about the support they have received from Dominicans. “They confirm their well being here,” he says. “At least they can eat, a right that is denied to them in Haiti,” he writes.
> He comments there are those in Haiti who continue to harp on the DR enslaving Haitains and not respecting their human rights. He attributes this stereotype to the 1937 killing spree under dictator Trujillo and the living and working conditions of the Haitians who cut sugar cane.
> “One cannot under any circumstance accuse this country of not respecting human rights, when the countries share an island with unequal levels of poverty,” he explains.
> “It is childish to believe that the DR can resolve all the problems of its neighbors when the situation of illegal workers is due to the incapacity of the Haitian state to assume its responsibility,” he says. “The respect of men should start in Haiti where most of the poor, especially the farmers, survive under subhuman conditions, most without any legal identification papers,” he writes. He urged the Haitian government to assume its responsibility as a state. Only about 1.5 million Haitians, out of a population of 8 million, have any kind of identification papers.

> DR1 Daily News -- Wednesday, 15 August 2001
> ********************************************************************
> 9. Cardinal salutes placement of more Haitian consulates
> Cardinal Nicolas Lopez Rodriguez saluted the Haitian government’s decision to place more consulates in border
towns. He said it is the responsibility of the Haitian government to
issue identity documents to its citizens. Only 1.5
million Haitians out of a population of about 7 million have any legal
ID documents. This creates major problems for
the Dominican government when they cross the border into the DR.
> The Minister of Foreign Relations of Haiti Philippe Antonio Joseph has announced Haiti’s intention of opening the
consulates to assist Haitians in the DR. A press release service, DPA,
said that Joseph also urged Haitians to defend
their rights in the DR.

> DR1 Daily News -- Monday, 6 August 2001
> ********************************************************************
> 11. Health talks with Haiti
> A mission of Dominican health authorities travelled to Haiti for talks 2-4 August on how both nations can cooperate.
Health Ministers Jose Rodriguez Soldevilla of the DR and Henry Voltaire
of Haiti agreed on the need to invest US$20
million over five years in joint programs to combat malaria,
tuberculosis and AIDS and to implement vaccination
programs in Haiti. Their plan is to secure international funding for
this program. The ministers agreed to meet again in
October to further discuss health issues.

> DR1 Daily News -- Tuesday, 31 July 2001
> ********************************************************************
> 2. Four Haitian soldiers request asylum
> Four Haitian soldiers have requested political asylum in the DR after confrontations among police troops in that
country, according to a report by the Ministry of Armed Forces. The
Haitian military say they are being persecuted as
enemies of the Jean Bertrand Aristide government. The soldiers came to
Santo Domingo from the border, where they
had sought asylum. News reports say that two military men died in recent
confrontations in Haiti.

> DR1 Daily News -- Thursday, 26 July 2001
> 8. Haiti maneuvers to gain migration advantages?
> El Siglo news commentator, Orlando Gil, says that apparently Haiti wants to obtain migration concessions from the
DR in exchange for its vote in favor of the DR sitting on the UN
Security Council. Mexico aspires to the same post.
> Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Relations Phillipe Antonio Joseph has said that Haiti has not decided on its vote. He also
says that Haiti would not use it to press for an improvement of
relations between both countries.
> Gil interprets this as a warning to Dominican authorities that Haiti wants the concessions. Congress is studying a
new Migration Bill, in general favorable to increased Haitian migration.
> The migratory issue is the most difficult between the two nations. Haiti wants the DR to legalize the hundreds of
thousands of Haitians who live in the DR. For years, the authorities
have avoided the issue, fearing this would only
stimulate more immigration, increasing the burden on social services in
the DR.
> For more information on the DR’s diplomatic efforts as of late to win the UN Security Council seat, see Caribbean
expert John Collins’ recent report on the DR’s efforts to obtain the
seat at 

> DR1 Daily News -- Tuesday, 24 July 2001
> ********************************************************************
> 5. Haitian police asked to help find kidnappers
> DR Police have requested the assistance of the Haitian Police to locate two men who, along with three others who
have already been arrested, supposedly are responsible for the
kidnapping of businessman Miguel de Moya on 1 July.
The Police say they have recovered RD$500 thousand of the RD$3 million
ransom the family paid for Moya’s return.

> DR1 Daily News -- Thursday, 19 July 2001
> 5. Bill would make it difficult to deport Haitians
> The migration bill recently deposited in the Congress could motivate increased Haitian migration, observes a report
in El Caribe. The bill incorporates legal mechanisms that would make the
deporting of Haitians very difficult. While
the bill authorizes the deportation of illegal foreigners, it is neither
obligatory nor automatic. Foreigners have the right
to a lawyer paid by the state and to trial prior to the deportation,
which could produce an enormous accumulation of
pending cases. The newspaper report states that an estimated 800,000
Haitians are illegal residents.
> El Caribe points out that Dominicans that arrive by boat to Puerto Rico are deported without the right to request
the annulment of the deportation in court.

> DR1 Daily News -- Thursday, 5 July 2001
> 2. Mejia supports admitting birth certificate-less children in public schools
> President Hipolito Mejia explained that Minister of Education Milagros Ortiz Bosch’s announcement of forthcoming
resolution to allow children without birth certificates to enter the
public school system seeks primarily to benefit
Dominicans. But, he explained, the measure will apply to children of
other nationalities primarily for human rights
reasons, regardless of whether they are Haitians.
> Opponents say the measure will become an additional incentive for Haitians to migrate to the DR where they
receive free health and now will be able to get a receive free education
services that are not available in their country.
Those in favor, say thousands of uneducated Haitians are a worse burden
to the nation.
> Others point out the logistical difficulties in applying the measure that will require hundreds of more school rooms
and the hiring of new teachers at a time when public school teachers are
demanding a 100% pay raise.
> An estimated 200,000 school age children do not have birth certificates. In the DR it is relatively easy to declare a
child upon birth. But when parents go beyond the two month deadline, the
process is time-consuming, tedious and can
be relatively costly.
> The case of the undocumented Haitians is more difficult, as most of the parents of the new immigrants do not have
any legal documentation themselves. Most Haitians in Haiti do not have
legal documentation.
> The plan is to issue the students a student identification card.

> DR1 Daily News -- Monday, 2 July 2001
> ********************************************************************
> 1. Public schools open to all children
> Vice President and Minister of Education Milagros Ortiz Bosch announced her department would soon issue a
resolution instructing public schools nationwide to admit all children,
regardless of whether they have a birth
certificate or not. The announcement was made during the First
International Symposium on Diversity and Exclusion
Problems organized by the Institute of Dominican Studies of the New York
City College.
> The measure will primarily benefit the children of indigent Haitian migrants. While many schools in the past have
been flexible about admitting children without birth certificates, some
have imposed the ruling. The mere existing of
the ruling has served as a deterrent for parents to try to enroll their
children. As a result, thousands of the offspring of
Haitian immigrants have been left out of school, reducing their chances
of doing better than their parents.
> Hundreds of thousands of indigent Haitian immigrants arrive and live in the DR without any documentation
whatsoever. The parent’s lack of documentation makes it difficult for
the children to get documentation. Efforts of the
Haitian Embassy to this end have been very timid, leaving the burden of
the undocumented persons on the DR.
> Several non-governmental agencies, are lobbying for the Dominican government to issue Dominican citizenship to
the thousands of Haitian immigrants, so as to regularize their status.
Dominican governments have chosen over the
years to not do so under the understanding it would only serve as an
incentive for an increase in the immigration of
thousands of more indigent Haitians.
> The Mejia administration is supporting business initiatives to create jobs for Haitians in Haiti and along the frontier
so as to reduce migration to other areas of the DR.

> DR1 Daily News -- Tuesday, 26 June 2001
> ********************************************************************
> 7. Haitian children used by drug dealers
> The director of the children and teenager protection department of the Attorney General’s office, Elisa Sanchez
denounced the use of Haitian children by gangs to introduce drugs and
guns across the frontier. She said the number of
Haitian children arrested in the frontier area for this crime is
increasing at alarming rates. She said the children are
deported in the morning, and return in the afternoon.
> Other news reports have denounced the use of Dominican minors for the same purposes.
> Children protection laws make children ideal to assist drug and weapon dealers.
> Sanchez also denounced the continued practice of renting Haitian children to employ them as beggars in city streets.