Human Rights Delegation Encounters Hundreds Fleeing the Dominican Republic into Haiti in Harrowing Conditions
Bus prepares to cross border into Haiti.In 2013, decision 168-13 by the Dominican Constitutional Court set in motion a series of events that have led to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Dominican Republic (DR), which has spilled, into Haiti. The 2013 decision retroactively stripped citizenship from anyone born in the DR to undocumented parents since 1929. This ruling effectively rendered about a quarter of a million people, who mostly worked in the sugar cane fields or on the construction projects across the DR, stateless.
Amid backlash from the international community, the Dominican government adopted Law 169-14, allowing many of these Dominicans of Haitian descent a legal pathway to retain their citizenship, as well as Decree 327-13, allowing Haitians in the DR without status to be regularized. Nevertheless, these processes were expensive and burdensome and very few had the means to obtain all the proper documentation before the application deadline. Consequently, many were forced across the border to a country that many barely knew.
On 25 June 2015, a delegation of nine human rights lawyers and law students from the United States, Haiti, Australia, and Canada visited the border between Haiti and the DR. Delegation members were drawn from the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). Over just four hours, the delegation witnessed hundreds of people crossing between the towns of Comendador (DR) and Belladère (Haiti).
A preview of this evening's first-round Gold Cup match-up between Panama and Haiti. The Panamanians, as the video suggests, are the favorites in tonight's game, but Haiti— led by 27-year-old goalkeeper Johny Placide— are intent on proving the skeptics wrong.
While Placide directs the Haitian defense, 23-year-old forward Kervens Belfort will be counted on to score the goals. Belfort netted five times during the team’s Carribean Cup campaign and will again need to be at his dynamic best if Haiti is going to crack the Panamanian code.
Haiti comes to Boston next for a huge match-up against the USA at Gilette Stadium on Friday evening.
For more on tonight's game, see this website. The game will be shown live on FoxSports and Univision.
Speaking out against deportations: Senator Forry, Congressman Capuano and former Rep. St. Fleur along with Rep. Dan Cullinane on the steps of the State House.Warning of a worsening humanitarian crisis, Haitian and Dominican community leaders in Boston joined forces with a multi-ethnic coalition of immigration advocates yesterday on the steps of the Massachusetts State House to denounce large-scale deportations of Dominicans of Haitian descent from the Dominican Republic. The denationalization situation has been escalating in the Dominican Republuc since 2013, when a constitutional court ruling retroactively eliminated birthright citizenship laws, leaving many Dominicans of Haitian descent, many of whom are second or third generation Dominican, stateless.
Surrounded by colleagues holding signs that read “Stop Humanitarian Crisis in Dominican Republic,” State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry began the press conference with a sharp rebuke of the the Dominican government’s policies and a statement of solidarity with both the Dominican and Haitian people.
“I stand here today with our allies, calling on the government of the Dominican Republic to end the humanitarian crisis which it has created. The prospect of large-volume deportations is troubling, especially given the historic mistreatment of fellow Dominicans of Haitian ancestry. In addition to disrupting the lives of hundreds of thousands of hardworking people in the Dominican Republic, it is also creating hardship for many more in Haiti, which is not well equipped to handle the influx of refugees along its borders,” said Forry.
Haitian and Dominican community leaders came together at the State House on Tuesday to denounce what they described as the unhumanitarian deportation from the Dominican Republican of people of Haitian descent. Despite the unity on display, however, community and political leaders differed over whether to call for people in the United States to boycott travel to the Dominican Republican to exert economic pressure on the government to reconsider its policy.
State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Boston) has announced a press conference will be held on Tuesday, June 30 at noon to address the humanitarian crisis developing in the Dominican Republic and Haiti as the government of the Dominican Republic implements a series of new naturalization laws specifically aimed at ridding the country of Dominican citizens of Haitian descent.
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The Dominican Republic announced Friday that it has certified the nationality of about 55,000 people who had spent eight years in bureaucratic limbo because their citizenship was in doubt.
The locally born descendants of Haitian immigrants had been on the point of losing their citizenship because the government and courts argued their parents had been in the country illegally. Tens of thousands had trouble enrolling in school, travelling, getting formal work, marrying or registering children for lack of residence documents.
PORT-AU-PRINCE— Haiti's prime minister warned Thursday that the Dominican Republic is creating a humanitarian crisis with its crackdown on migrants, noting that 14,000 people have crossed the border into Haiti in less than a week.
"That is massive," Prime Minister Evans Paul said during a meeting with reporters to talk about the issue. He said the number included both people being deported and those leaving voluntarily. He said many of them should be considered Dominican citizens.
Newly-renovated hotel is at the top of its class in Haiti’s capital
Haiti’s tourism boom is not just about gleaming new buildings with international brands that are new to the market. Those are critical new pieces to the puzzle for sure. But the story of Haiti’s resurgence as a premeire Caribbean travel destination is also found within the walls of longtime establishments that were already well-known and reliable options for traveler long before it was popular.
The Kinam Hotel— situated in the desirable center of Pétion-Ville across from the landmark Place Saint-Pierre— is one of the finest examples of how new construction and technology is blending with traditional Haitian culture and hospitality to appeal to a new generation of traveler. The Kinam recently underwent a multi-million dollar expansion project that added a new and improved wing to its property. The results — documented here on this page— put the new and improved Kinam at the top of its class in Haiti’s capital.
Senator Linda Dorcena ForryState Senator Linda Dorcena Forry today issued a statement criticizing the government of the Dominican Republic for its plan to target undocumented Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent for possible deportation amid a building international outcry prompted by what many have termed a violation of international law and human rights.
Forry, a first generation Haitian-American and the only person of Haitian descent to hold state elected office in Massachusetts called for collective action among the Haitian diaspora living abroad to use their economic and political influence to halt the actions. Forry called on Haitian-Americans and their allies to suspend vacation plans in the Dominican Republic until the government there "changes course."
"It is time for us to send a collective and clear message that we expect the Dominican Republic to treat its citizens with respect," said Senator Forry, who represents Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park and South Boston in the Senate's First Suffolk district. The potential for a humanitarian crisis is real and a responsible, compassionate government would pause and choose another course. That is precisely what I call on the leaders of the Dominican Republic to do."
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued a statement to the Boston Haitian Reporter this morning in response to the Dominican Republic's plan to expel people of Haitian descent from their country:
"It is disheartening and troubling to see a neighboring country target a minority group for exclusion," Mayor Walsh said. "I urge Dominican leaders to reverse course and recognize the tremendous value of diversity and inclusion for any nation. We stand with the Haitian community in Boston and abroad."