Approximately 100 people were deported from the Dominican Republic to Haiti this week following a fatal attack against an elderly Dominican couple near the Haitian border. Activists say the figure brings the total number of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent deported from the Dominican Republic since September to 354.
Josue Michel, spokesman for the Groupe d’Appui Aux Rapatriés et Réfugiés (Support Group for Repatriates and Refugees—GARR), said the deportations came after a burglary in the Southwestern Dominican town of Neiba. Many of the deportees had gone to a Dominican police station to report the crime and seek refuge from indiscriminant mob violence, but were then rounded up in the street by police officers. Others fled the country voluntarily in fear of continued violence. Dominican authorities insist the deported individuals were not expelled and that they requested for the police to escort them safely to the border.
The deportations of Haitians began after the Tribunal Constitucional de República Dominicana (Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic) ruled on September 23 that anyone born in the Dominican Republic to non-Dominican parents after 1929 is not eligible for Dominican citizenship. The Open Society Justice Initiative estimates that the decision has subsequently rendered over 200,000 people “stateless,” or without any claim to legal citizenship.