Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Are people self-deporting or fleeing from DR?

This article sheds light on what those who are allegedly “self-deporting” from the Dominican Republic (DR) to Haiti are facing both in DR and once they arrive in Haiti. Many of them left due to threats or promises that self-deportation would allow them to re-enter DR legally in the future, whereas waiting to be deported by officials would lead to a 3-year ban from DR. In Haiti, there isn’t a good support system for the massive influx of immigrants. Two IJDH legal interns who went on a delegation to the border are quoted in this article as well.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

How The Dominican Republic Is Trying To Remove Its Immigrant Population

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, Think Progress

July 9, 2015

Melila, a 30-year-old Haitian national, moved to the Dominican Republic to study medicine 12 years ago. She found love, got married, and had four children with a Dominican citizen. But when her mother sent her money to complete the naturalization process, her request was denied.

A few weeks ago, she and her family packed up their bags and “self-deported” from the country that they’ve called home. They likely face hurdles ahead. All four of Melila’s children were born in the Dominican Republic “and had never been to Haiti and do not speak Creole or French,” her cousin, Marie Dorelus, told ThinkProgress. “Her husband barely speaks Creole.”

The family is now supported by Melila’s mother in Haiti.

Melila’s exodus from the Dominican Republic comes at a time when the Dominican government has begun forcibly removing Haitians and other Dominicans of Haitian descent, as part of an effort to crack down on undocumented immigrants.

Click HERE for the full text.

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