Dominican Republic to continue deporting Haitians
January 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
The Dominican Republic’s top immigration official said Monday the nation will keep deporting Haitian migrants despite criticism by human rights groups of stepped up efforts to catch illegal border crossers. The government sent roughly 1,000 Haitians back to their earthquake-shattered homeland last week, deploying soldiers and immigration officials to set up border patrols and surprise checkpoints last week along highways, asking people aboard public buses and vans for their papers.
Dominican immigration director Sigfrido Pared said Monday that the government is compelled to resume immigration enforcement to prevent the flow of illegal Haitian migrants since last January’s earthquake and to stop the spread of cholera, which has killed more than 3,000 people in Haiti and sickened about 150 in the neighboring Dominican Republic. He also said the crackdown is urgent “because a massive entry of Haitians always occurs in January.” Amnesty International has asked the Dominican government to increase efforts to help Haiti instead of deporting Haitians. “Returning people is condemning them to a situation where their health and security would be at great risk,” senior Amnesty adviser Javier Zuniga said Friday. Pared said the human rights group’s criticism was unfair. “If there has been a country in the world which has shown solidarity with Haiti since January 12, it has been the Dominican Republic,” said Pared, adding that the illegal migrants’ rights were being respected. (AP)