Haiti: Migration Crisis in Hispaniola
"With the stroke of a pen, authorities in the Dominican Republic have effectively wiped four generations of Dominicans off the map. Without nationality, tens of thousand of people have become virtual ghosts, who face serious obstacles in accessiing basic services in the country." Erica Guevara-Ross, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
Following the 2013 judgement by the DominicanConstitutional Court which retroactively deprived hundreds of thousands of people of their Dominican nationality and made the majority of them stateless, the Dominican authorities also adopted an 18-month “national plan for the regularization of irregular foreigners living in the country.” While deportations of irregular migrants were suspended during the implementation of the plan, in the weeks before the deadline for applying under the plan expired, the Dominican authorities had announced that deportations of irregular migrants would resume from June 18 on.
Since then, tens of thousands of Haitian migrants have been deported to Haiti or have voluntarily left, often as a result of pressures and threats. Amnesty has received several reports of failure to respect due process in the deportation procedures and of expulsions of Dominicans of Haitian descent. Haitian authorities have also failed to provide any assistance to those being deported or expelled.
Given that Amnesty International has carried out extensive research and campaign on the issue of statelessness in the Dominican Republic, this project aims at complementing that work with information on expulsions of Dominicans of Haitian descent. As the Dominican Republic will elect a new President in May 2016 and the campaign on statelessness will scale up after that, information about the expulsions of Dominicans of Haitian descent will give strength to the advocacy arguments. Responsibilities of Haitian authorities will also be identified and the argument will be made that, while authorities and politicians are busy with political disputes, the human rights situation in the country is worsening.