Friday, February 18, 2011

D.R. to U.S. – Stop Haitian deportations

Last month U.S. officials resumed the deportations of undocumented Haitians after a one-year post-earthquake hiatus. Haitian community leaders in the U.S. like Marleine Bastien decried the measure and called it “inhumane and very insensitive”. The head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' committee on migration co-wrote a letter to Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano criticizing the deportations amid so many problems in the Caribbean country.

Over the past few weeks Dominican authorities have cracked down on illegally documented Haitians reportedly in order to contain the spread of cholera from across the border. But that could change amid criticism between Washington and Santo Domingo:
Justice minister Radhamés Jiménez affirmed Friday that Washington doesn’t have the moral quality to request respect of the undocumented Haitians in the country.

Jimenez, who made the statement one day after U.S. ambassador Raul Yzaguirre asked the Dominican Government to respect the rights of those immigrants, said the United States also mistreats immigrants, including Haitians.
Recently one Haitian deportee died after he became seriously ill in a Haitian jail.

The treatment of Haitian migrants in the neighboring Dominican Republic has been a campaign issue for the two candidates vying for Haiti’s presidency. Former first lady Mirlande Manigat pledged that if she became president she would increase dialogue with the Dominican government on the subject of Haitian immigration.

Image- Think Progress
Online Sources- U.S. Catholic Magazine, The Latin Americanist, HULIQ, Dominican Today, Democracy Now

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