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Thousands of Haitians May Be Deported from Dominican Republic
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Due to the failure to meet a registration deadline, thousands of Haitian immigrants may be deported from the Dominican Republic.

Summary: Due to the failure to meet a registration deadline, thousands of Haitian immigrants may be deported from the Dominican Republic.

Undocumented immigrants who failed to register with the government in the Dominican Republic may now be facing deportation, MSNBC reports. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants, a majority of whom are Haitian, may be forced to leave the country.

  
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Undocumented immigrants had until 7:00 Wednesday evening to register to regularize their immigration status and avoid deportation. However, many have not registered.

Human rights advocates have pleaded for the Dominican government to extend the deadline. They argued that many immigrants waited in line for days but were turned away after being told they did not have the proper documents with them required for registration. Others could not leave work to register.

“Orange is the New Black” actress Diane Guerrero recalls the deportation of her family.

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Roughly 275,000 immigrants have completed the registration process, which is under half of the total population of immigrants that live in the country. In 2012, there were over 500,000 undocumented immigrants in the Dominican Republic. Roughly 90 percent are from Haiti. Many work as domestic workers or in sugar cane fields.



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Ramon Fadul, Interior Minister, said that even though the deadline was Wednesday, the government would work with all the immigrants who remained in line at government offices. He said, “We are going to work with those who remain in line because we don’t want to mistreat anyone. We want everyone to be regularized.”

In the past, Fadul commented on the difficulties many immigrants encountered when trying to register. Tuesday, he tried to reassure the public that mass deportations would not happen immediately. Still, many individuals are scared to leave their homes, even to work, according to The Guardian.

However, Army Gen. Ruben Paulino, the head of the Dominican Republic’s immigration agency, said that neighborhoods will be patrolled on Thursday. The agency plans to use 12 buses, seven light trucks, and two ambulances to conduct the patrols. Paulino said, “If they aren’t registered, they will be repatriated.”

Although the Dominican Republic and Haiti are neighbors, Haiti is much poorer and was devastated by the earthquake. Many Haitians have traveled to the Dominican Republic for work, and these numbers increased after the earthquake. The mass moves have strained the country’s resources.

In 2010, the Florida bar asked attorneys to donate to Haiti relief.

Alberto Navarro, the European Union ambassador in Haiti, said that he is “confident” that mass deportations will not occur. He said that the country was courageous “in imposing order where there was disorder,” referencing the immigration concerns.

However, some human rights advocates view the recent events as the latest in a long history of mistreatment of Haitians in the country. In 1937, the dictator of the Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo, ordered that thousands of Haitians be massacred. According to Yahoo News, government officials have also raided Haitian neighborhoods and have detained individuals based on their appearance.

Last year, President Obama’s immigration measures were deemed unconstitutional.

In 2013, a court declared that children of undocumented immigrants, even those born in the country, would no longer be entitled to citizenship, which left hundreds of thousands displaced. After international uproar, the law was changed, allowing citizenship to those whose births were in a civil registry. Those who were not would possibly have an opportunity for nationalization.

Source: MSNBC

Photo credit: telesurtv.net



 

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