Haitians scram­ble to avoid de­por­ta­tion from Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

stood out­side the in­te­rior min­istry.

“In the morn­ing, I got through the en­trance. But the po­lice kicked me out and I couldn’t fight them. I gave a man 500 pe­sos (US$10) to get me in, but I never saw him again,” said Jo­dias, a con­struc­tion worker who has lived in Santo Domingo, the Do­mini­can cap­i­tal, for the past 10 years.

An es­ti­mated 458,000 Haitians live in the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic, of­ten la­bor­ing in the sugar cane fields or as do­mes­tic work­ers.

They make up nearly 90 per­cent of the coun­try’s im­mi­grants and 5.4 per­cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion. Just one in 10 has le­gal sta­tus.

As the dead­line ap­proaches, Haitian men, women and chil­dren have been lin­ing up out­side the in­te­rior min­istry’s gates day and night, through driz­zling rain, morn­ing chill and mid­day heat of 35 de­grees Cel­sius (95 Fahren­heit).

Sim­i­lar scenes have played out at reg­is­tra­tion cen­ters across the coun­try, where the im­mi­grants have un­til 7:00 p.m. Wed­nes­day to turn in their pa­per­work.

AFP

Haitians line up at night to le­gal­ize their sta­tus at the In­te­rior Min­istry in Santo Domingo, Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic on Tues­day, June 16.

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