Many leave Dominican Republic for Haiti to avoid deportation | Newsday

“We’re arriving with nothing,” he said while boarding a truck in the border town of Ouanaminthe with two of his children and headed toward the capital of Port-au-Prince. “I’m trying to figure out how we’re going to make a living.”

Dominican officials say migrants in the country could stay if they prove they arrived before October 2011 and have taken steps to establish themselves by getting a job or going to school. Nearly 290,000 of the estimated 524,000 migrants in the country — the majority of them Haitians — applied by the June 17 deadline. The government says those who didn’t apply or who didn’t get legal permission to stay should leave or risk deportation.

The Dominican government says nearly 40,000 people had left as of July 6.

Many people going to Haiti say they fear the violent, often traumatic expulsions that have occurred periodically in the past, and are frustrated with requirements for documents many cannot obtain.

The Dominican Republic has been under international scrutiny in recent years for immigration policies that tend to affect mostly Haitians and people of Haitian descent, who tend to be darker skinned than most Dominicans and often find themselves victims of racial discrimination. via | Newsday


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