AFRICANGLOBE – The Dominican Republic recently approved the deportation of Haitians who have been working on the island for years and in some cases decades. In fact, many Haitian children have been born in the Dominican Republic and never even been to Haiti.
Even though it was expected that that the repatriation of these Haitians would be gradual no one expected to be all of a sudden. Over the past couple of weeks, the Dominican government has been rounding up Haitians, placing them in boats and dumping them on the shores of Haiti. In many cases Haitian officials are not even informed about the arrivals. This is a human tragedy.
While Haiti does understand the situation in the Dominican Republic, surely this is not the way to treat people who have been working in that country for years and contributed to the economy. Last weekend, many Haitian children and women were literally dumped on the shores of Haiti and the ministers had to set up emergency shelter and provide them with food.
It is important to remember that these Haitians returning from Dominican Republic are not wealthy-they were the poor ones who went to seek jobs elsewhere so that they could make some money to feed their families back in Haiti.
Anti-Haitian sentiments are common in the Dominican Republic and Haitians have always been used as a scape goat for all the country’s social and economic problems.
Even though the country’s president Danilo Medina denies that Dominicans are racists, there is no question that Haitians have been discriminated in every facet of their lives in that country. The Dominican Republic has not granted permanent residency to the majority of Haitians and in fact very few have received an amnesty.
So Haiti is in desperate need of money to shelter and feed these expats returning from the Dominican. What is so frightening is that the Dominicans have been so underhanded and deceitful in how they are sending the Haitians back home. Most of the Haitians are suddenly woken up at night, placed in a boat without any of their belongings and just shipped away. No official from the Haitian government is ever told about these forced deportations.
Even though the Dominican government initially said it would deport only undocumented Haitians, this is not true. The government is hell bent on deporting nearly half a million Haitians. It is an ugly and evil world for these Haitians. They have no future or any potential of a job in Haiti and while living in the Dominican Republic many have been beaten, killed and threatened.
The truth of the matter is that racism is still very pervasive among African people who live in the Caribbean. What the Dominican government does not seem to realize is that the same can happen to them. What would they do if the Americans suddenly decided to deport all the Dominicans who now live in the America and Canada?
By: Henry Beaucejour