Deportations of undocumented black people of Haitian descent have not started in Santo Domingo
Despite reports in the international media, deportations of black people of Haitian descent with questionable migratory status has not started in the Dominican Republic, at least so some of their media claims…
Nevertheless, foreign media focused attention on the plight of hundreds of residents who did not apply under the plan or have not been able to get the required documents from the government of Haiti to complete the registration process. Many of these individuals are taking advantage of the free ground transportation offered by the Dominican government to return to Haiti to seek the essential paperwork to file for residency in the Dominican Republic.
Diario Libre reports that several international media outlets in an attempt to dramatize the situation have used footage that is completely unrelated to the repatriation situation. The Dominican authorities have stated on several occasions that deportations will be carried out gradually and on an individual basis, using procedures that meet international regulations for deportations.
“The Department of Migration states that when the repatriations are carried out this will be done respecting human rights, the dignity of the persons and acting with humanity and prudence,” said a statement released on 22 June 2015.
More than 288,000 foreigners, most Haitians, applied to legalize their status under the National Foreigner Legalization Plan that expired on 17 June 2015 after an 18 month period. The main obstacle to the issuing of legal residency to Haitians living in the country is that the Haitian government has not issued essential documents, such as birth certificates, to the migrants. Thousands of Haitians have chosen to return to Haiti to get these documents rather than risk being deported and having a negative mark on their record that could affect their chances of regularizing their residence in the country at a future date.
While in the Dominican Republic first birth certificates and first identity cards are free, there is a charge for this government service in Haiti. As a result, in Haiti most of the poor do not have legal paperwork. This has created major inconveniences when these people cross the border to seek work in the Dominican Republic.
The Medina government is now requiring legal status for residents in the country. A National Foreigner Legalization Plan offered free status legalization for those registering over an 18 month period that expired on 17 June 2015.