Law in the Dominican Republic deports Dominican born Haitians

by S. Kjær


After the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 the Dominican Republic, neighbors of the Haitians, were one of the first countries to help the ones in need in Haiti. The Dominican Republic even opened its borders so the Haitians could use their hospitals.

Somewhat a year and a half after the natural disaster in Haiti, the Dominican Republic passed a new law, which implies that Haitians can be deported back to Haiti even though Haiti hasn’t recovered from the troubles the earthquake resulted in.

The Dominican Republic government explains this initiative by having problems themselves. The rate of unemployment and crime has gone up and the numbers of people infected with cholera is up since the earthquake, however it appears that the main part of those who have cholera, in the Dominican Republic, are of Haitian descend. These are some of the reasons the Dominicans validate the actions made towards their geographical neighbors with.

The law in question entitles the Dominican Republic government to deport Dominican citizens who are of Haitian descend. The New York Times spoke with a Dominican born man with Haitian roots. He had lost his job because he could not renew his citizenship, at age 31 and lived his whole life in the Dominican Republic, because his parents were illegal immigrants from Haiti. Moreover newborn babies of the Haitian immigrants are denied citizenship in the Dominican Republic.

The International Organization for Migration tried to help out the Haitian refugees as well as the Dominican born Haitians by offering $50 plus additional relocation assistance to each one of those who would willingly move back to Haiti. This aid seemed to do it for almost 1,500 Haitians or Dominican born Haitians on the short run, however it certainly does not solve the long-term problems the two countries are facing in the near future.