Dominican deportations to Haiti fuel growing fears, frustration

“Rights advocates urge the Dominican Republic to stop removals as thousands are sent to crisis-hit Haiti this month.” Read full article by Jillian Kestler-D’Amours (Al Jazeera).

Authorities in the Dominican Republic have rounded up thousands of Haitian migrants — and anyone who looks like they could be from Haiti — and deported them to a country in the grips of deadly gang violence and instability, advocates say.

The forced removals, which rights groups say have escalated this month, have drawn international criticism and calls for restraint amid reports that unaccompanied children, pregnant women and other vulnerable people are being deported.

In the Dominican Republic, a majority of the population identifies as mixed race, while the country’s neighbour Haiti has a predominantly Black population. This has fuelled accusations that xenophobia and racism are behind the deportations, part of a wider trend of anti-Haitian discrimination in the Dominican Republic.

Some deportees have never set foot in Haiti, which is grappling with rising rates of hunger, extreme poverty and an outbreak of cholera, in addition to surging violence. The country also does not have the state institutions needed to cope with an influx of arrivals, experts say.

William Charpantier, coordinator for MENAMIRD, a national roundtable for migrants and refugees in the Dominican Republic, said the Dominican police and armed forces are detaining Haitians in the streets as well as “all those who look like Haitians”. More than 20,000 people had been deported in a nine-day period this month, Charpantier said, including some Dominican citizens with Haitian ancestry. [. . .]

“These deportations have resulted in the separation of families. People with valid documents have been deported, people who were born here in the Dominican Republic have been deported,” Charpantier told Al Jazeera.

“These aren’t deportations. It’s persecution based on race.”

For full article and video, see https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/11/24/dominican-deportations-to-haiti-fuel-growing-fears-frustration

[Photo above by Raul Asencio/Listin Diario via Reuters: Police officers in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo ride with detained Haitian nationals to a migration centre amid increased deportations to Haiti on November 15, 2022.]

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