English

‘They sent me here with two empty hands’ – JamaicaObserver.com


Haiti-Migrants-4Dominican authorities deported the 35-year-old farm worker along with his wife and four children early this week, leaving Souverin to ponder what he will do in Haiti — a deeply poor country that he left at age 17 to find work in the relatively more prosperous Dominican Republic.

“I’m not taking this well,” he told The Associated Press in Spanish as his small daughter fell asleep on the shelter’s concrete floor last Thursday. “They sent me here with two empty hands. Everything I own was left behind.”

The Dominican Republic has long had uneasy relations with migrant workers like Souverin and it is becoming decidedly more unfriendly.

Human rights activists worry that tens of thousands of people will face Souverin’s plight in the coming weeks and months now that the Dominican government is pledging to deport non-citizens who did not submit applications to establish legal residency before Wednesday night’s deadline. Most of those affected are from neighbouring Haiti or of Haitian descent.

An estimated 460,000 Haitian migrants live in the Dominican Republic, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Officials have said nearly 290,000 people had enrolled in the immigration registration programme, but only about 10,000 provided the required documents. via – JamaicaObserver.com

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