In recent months, changes in citizenship and immigration laws in the neighboring Dominican Republic where many lived for decades, have put hundreds of thousands of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent at risk for mass deportations — and, for many, a dire existence.
“If we had something in our hands, we wouldn’t be sitting here every morning, every afternoon, eating dust,” said Liphèt Oriol, who arrived in the camp about six weeks ago after he was forced to flee the Dominican Republic. “We are victims of a lack of leadership.”
The limbo-life on the border of Anse-à-Pitres, which sits on Haitian soil, is extreme yet far safer than life in the Dominican Republic where migrants say they were chased out by antihaitianismo, a climate of fear and racism expressed not only by authorities, but by Dominican citizens, employers, even neighbors.
On an almost daily basis, they say, Dominicans reminded them of El Corte, the 1937 massacre where tens of thousands of Haitians were executed by Dominican soldiers in a government-sponsored genocide.
“If you went to the store to buy machetes, there were none to buy,” said Oriol, 60, recalling his decision to return to Haiti and leave everything behind in Las Mercedes after 22 years. “They would be filing them and would declare that, ‘All of the Haitians who don’t want to leave, we are going to slice them up with rage.’” via | Miami Herald.