Dominican deportation row reveals Bahamas plight

Dominican_boatDominican Today reports on how the Bahamas is repatriating Haitians every week. Well, we know that. It doesn’t make anything look better for the Dominican Republic, even if it is true that the government is “struggling to provide documents.” That doesn’t help the hundreds of people who will still be left in limbo and all the families that are torn apart by their new policy. The Guardian said it all in their article of 23 June 2015—“The Dominican Republic’s mass Haitian deportation reflects its racist history” [see previous post The Dominican Republic’s mass Haitian deportation reflects its racist history]. And pointing the finger at other people who are doing it does not make it OK.

While Dominican Republic struggles to provide documents  to the hundreds of thousands of mostly Haitian foreigners in its territory, the Bahamas, a member of Caricom, continues to unabashedly enforce its immigration law, specifically on Haitians, with 3,369 deported in the past seven months, despite threats of boycott on tourism and pressure from within and abroad.

Quoted by haitilibre.com, Bahamas Foreign Affairs and Immigration minister Frederick Mitchell last week revealed that 369 Haitians had been repatriated from June 1 to 23. Despite the similarities, the Bahamas has yet to voice support for Dominican Republic’s measures to enforce immigration laws on foreigners.

On Sunday haitilibre.com reported that Bahamas’ measures are so extreme in Haiti, that Nassau “has been more severe than the Dominican government in implementing its immigration laws.”

“If one considers unjust and racist immigration policy in the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas is applied much more severely by law, since it is not even a matter of regularizing the immigration status of people,” the outlet said, adding that “Bahamas is repatriating Haitians every week. To date, at least 139 Haitians are in a Nassau detention center ready to be sent to Haiti.”

“Since the Government of the Bahamas enacted its new immigration measures in early November (2014), our compatriots who are there illegally live in fear of arrest and deportation.”

For original article, see http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/poverty/2015/6/29/55551/Dominican-deportation-row-reveals-Bahamas-plight

Photo from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominican_Republic_immigration_to_Puerto_Rico

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