The Rendon Group Snapshot Report
Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.
The Dominican Republic’s Expulsion of Peoples of Haitian Descent
Individuals of Haitian descent wait in Santo Domingo to beat the deadline for registering with the government. (European Pressphoto Agency)
This week’s snapshot focuses on the Dominican Republic’s warning that peoples of Haitian descent would be deported should they fail to apply for legal residency by June 17. With Haiti still reeling from its 2010 earthquake and cholera outbreak, the move sparked international criticism that such deportations would leave thousands stateless and generate a new humanitarian disaster. The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, has a historically tense relationship with Haiti.
News Summary of events during the week of 22JUN15-28JUN15
• 22JUN15: Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves called the Dominican Republic’s policy of denying citizenship to persons of Haitian descent “simply unacceptable.” (EFE)
• 22JUN15: The Dominican Republic’s migration agency said immigrants who would like to leave the country before a wave of deportations will have access to a free transportation to the Dominican-Haitian border. (AP)
• 23JUN15: Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit called the Dominican Republic’s deportation of peoples of Haitian descent a “major human rights issue.” (EFE)
• 24JUN15: CARICOM called on the Dominican Republic to halt the deportations of tens of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent to avoid a grave “humanitarian crisis”. (EFE)
• 25JUN15: Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Haiti, Sandra Honoré, said deportations carried out by Dominican authorities should not result in statelessness of people of Haitian descent. (UN News Center)
• 26JUN15: Haiti’s Prime Minister Evans Paul called the Dominican Republic’s deportation policy discriminatory, and said the situation is “reminiscent of a humanitarian crisis.” (AFP)
• 26JUN15: Santo Domingo officials said more than 17,000 undocumented Haitians voluntarily left the Dominican Republic. (AFP)
• 26JUN15: Dominican President Danilo Medina said the Dominican Republic has certified the nationalities of 55,000 locally born peoples of Haitian descent. (AP)
• 27JUN15: Former Haitian Ambassador to the US Raymond Joseph provided historical context to the current Dominican deportation policy and called on Haiti to provide an economic and political atmosphere to keep its citizens to ensure the state’s survival. (Miami Herald)
Sample of Twitter handles regarding the Dominican Republic’s expulsion of peoples of Haitian descent
• @marselhagm – Marselha Margerin, Advocacy Director for the Americas at Amnesty International
• @NadegeGreen – Nadege Green, Reporter at WLRN
• @gaetantguevara – Etant Dupain, freelance journalist
• @RoqPlanas – Roque Planas, reporter for the Huffington Post
• @HaitiJustice – Brian Concanno, Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the Dominican Republic’s expulsion of peoples of Haitian descent
Chiari Ligouri, researcher for the Caribbean chapter of Amnesty International
“It would be catastrophic because they have never been in Haiti, they don’t know anyone there, they don’t have family.”
– People of Haitian descent scramble for Dominican Republic residency permits, Associated Press, 17JUN2015
Cy Winter, chief of the International Organization Migration mission in the Dominican Republic
“In the end, money talks, and there is a lot of money involved. This is a supply and demand issue, and there is simply no way to remove those are are essential to the Dominican economy.”
– Dominican Deadline Passes Without Mass Expulsion of Migrants, The New York Times, 19JUN2015
Wade McMullen, managing attorney for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights
“The Dominican Republic is shooting themselves in the foot, and it seems to be for short-term political gain. Over the long term, they’re going to realize that there’s not only going to be a significant economic impact, but that the human toll is going to be even greater.”
– Haitians booted from Dominican Republic uncertain of future, Chicago Tribune, 19JUN2015
Silvio Torres-Saillant, founding director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute
“I believe that this all began as an act of electoral politics. The ruling party in the Dominican Republic has lately been losing popularity, so they see it in their interest to try to disenfranchise about a quarter-million Dominicans of Haitian descent. I see this all as a voter-suppression initiative…There are people in the Dominican Republic who have made their political career by demonizing Haitians…and there is enough anti-Haitian sentiment surviving that Dominican government can tap into it at convenient moments in history.”
– Dominican Americans: Views Against, and For, D.R.’s Immigration Policy, NBC News, 25JUN2015
Pedro Cano Olivares, coordinator for the Jesuit Service in Jimani, Dominican Republic
“All the arbitrary deportations of the past six months, people getting stopped in the streets of towns and cities just for their skin color, raises a great deal of uncertainty and fear.”
– Dominican Republic Set to Deport Haitian Migrants, New York Times, 17JUN2015
Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the Dominican Republic’s expulsion of peoples of Haitian descent
1. St. Vincent PM: Dominican policy toward Haitians “unacceptable”
Media: EFE (Spain)
Date: 22 June 2015
San Juan, Jun 22 (EFE).- The Dominican Republic’s policy of denying citizenship to persons of Haitian descent born in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country is “simply unacceptable,” the prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines said Monday.
“It is unacceptable to have a public policy in relation to citizenship grounded in ethnicity or your national origins,” Ralph Gonsalves told a press conference on his return from an official trip to Europe.
2. Dominican Republic offers help to migrants willing to leave
Media: Associated Press
Date: 22 June 2015
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Migrants who would like to leave the Dominican Republic ahead of a wave of expected deportations are being offered help from the government of the Caribbean country.
The migration agency says it has started a free bus service to take migrants to the border with Haiti. The agency says the program will run for two weeks starting Tuesday.
3. Haiti: UN envoy urges that deportations do not result in statelessness of people born in Dominican Republic
Media: UN News Center
Date: 25 June 2015
25 June 2015 – Amid ongoing concern about the status of thousands of immigrants living in the Dominican Republic, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Haiti, Sandra Honoré, said that deportations carried out by Santo Domingo authorities should not result in statelessness of people of Haitian descent.
Ms. Honoré also considered that such acts should be consistent with the dignity, human rights and international humanitarian law.
This call comes as the Office of the UN high Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) last Friday appealed to the Government of the Dominican Republic to ensure that people who were arbitrarily deprived of their nationality as a result of a 2013 ruling of the Dominican Constitutional Court would not be deported.
4. Haiti PM slams ‘discriminatory’ Dominican migrant policy
Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 26 June 2015
Port-au-Prince, June 26, 2015 (AFP) – Haiti’s Prime Minister Evans Paul slammed the Dominican Republic’s deportation policy as discriminatory, after Santo Domingo ejected undocumented Haitian immigrants from its territory.
The deportations took place over the past week since the Dominican Republic imposed the so-called National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners, which calls for non-citizens to complete registration to establish legal residency or else leave the country.
The scheme has inflamed long-standing tensions between the two nations, which share an island, and affects hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the Dominican Republic — about 90 percent of which are Haitian.
5. Dominican Republic certifies citizenship of 55,000
Media: Associated Press
Date: 26 June 2015
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The Dominican Republic announced Friday that it has certified the nationality of about 55,000 people who had spent eight years in bureaucratic limbo because their citizenship was in doubt.
The locally born descendants of Haitian immigrants had been on the point of losing their citizenship because the government and courts argued their parents had been in the country illegally. Tens of thousands had trouble enrolling in school, travelling, getting formal work, marrying or registering children for lack of residence documents.