This article does an excellent job of explaining the crisis currently unfolding as tens of thousands of Dominicans and Haitians leave the Dominican Republic (DR) for fear of violence from their neighbors. It describes the historic conflicts between DR and Haiti that led up to the current animosity between the two countries, and the current lack of support from the Haitian government to the people now living in border camps. As DR officially began mass deportations last week, many fear that the situation will become much worse.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.
The Culture of Fear Fueling the Dominican Deportation Crisis
George Altshuler, The American Prospect
August 23, 2015
I left the Dominican Republic because people said they would kill all the Haitians,” said Mona Jermin in Haitian Kreyòl. “Now I have nothing.” Two weeks ago Jermin gave birth to a baby boy in a dusty tent at a camp for Haitians who have fled the Dominican Republic. She had no medical care, and she says her child lacks food, clothes, and still hasn’t seen a doctor.
Although the Dominican government did not begin mass deportations of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent following a June 17 immigration deadline, some 66,000 people have already fled the country. And while the threat of deportation may have played a part, it seems to be only part of the story. In more than two-dozen interviews in camps of Haitians who have fled the Dominican Republic in recent months, most people told stories of threats and intimidation from Dominican civilians. The threat of deportation remains very real for Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent, but the threat of violence they face in the DR is in many cases just as serious.
The figure of 66,000 people having left the Dominican Republic comes from the Dominican government, which claims those who left did so “voluntarily” following the June deadline to apply for legal residency. The Dominican officials put into place its residency program after a 2013 ruling of the Dominican Supreme Court retroactively stripped away the citizenship of hundreds of thousands of people.
Click HERE for the full text.