Immigration is a major issue among Haitian. It is estimated that over 4 million Haitians are currently living outside of Haiti
Haitian Immigrants Get Identification Documents in Ceremony at Haitian Embassy in Santo Domingo
The Dominican Republic's (DR) National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners (PNRE) expired back in June 2015. A small number of Haitian immigrants, among them sugar cane laborers, were fortunate enough to have registered for PNRE before the deadline. As a result the registrants have been given their birth certificates. The Haitian government issued the documents through its Identification and Documentation of Haitian Immigrants Program (PIDIH).
A ceremony at which the birth certificates were given out was held at the Santo Domingo Haitian Embassy. The event was presided over by Ambassador Magali Jeanty Magloire as well as Miousemme Celestin, also with the Embassy. Magloire pledged continued support from the Haitian government in helping Haitian nationals to obtain both identity cards and Haitian passports, the birth certificates being only the first--but important step--in achieving naturalization status in the DR.
Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul opened the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean (AACCLA) on June 15th. The conference brought together 14 countries and almost 250 people to participate, centering on the theme "The Diaspora Investments in Latin America and the Caribbean". The focus at the conference was on how to funnel Diaspora investment to local businesses using best practices, and the economic initiatives to be developed to accomplish the goal.
Many foreign senior-level speakers joined ex-Bolivian President Jorge Fernando Quiroga in delivering opening remarks. They represented the American Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.; George Washington University; Heineken Americas; Western Union Caribbean; and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Haiti's designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an additional 18 months. The extended designation will be effective on January 23, 2016, and will expire on July 22, 2017.
Since Haiti is a present TPS beneficiary, its eligible Haitians have to re-register during the 60-day mandatory period that runs from August 25, 2015, through October 26, 2015 as per U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rule. Haiti received the designation for TPS on January 21, 2010, following the 2010 earthquake.
The extension will permit eligible TPS Haitian beneficiaries to request work permits or to apply for a new Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). USCIS also states that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire. Thus, UCIS is automatically extending current TPS for Haiti EAD with January 22, 2016 expiration; they are now valid through July 22, 2016.
The Dominican Republic doesn't want them. Now, according to the latest news, neither does Haiti. The Haitian Foreign Minister Lener Renauld announced that his country will not receive any immigrants who are not Haitians. This decision was taken following to counter the decision of the Dominican Republic to deport both Haitian nationals as well as some Dominicans with root to Haiti.
The Haitian government is currently in what some would call a diplomatic war with its neighbor over the immigration issue. Haitian Foreign Minister Lener Renauld had denounced some of the decisions adopted by the Dominican government, which did not include a protocol for an orderly repatriation of undocumented migrants.
I don't know if you have been following the surge of Donald Trump in the poll for the Republican party in the united States. Whatever the reasons are, it seems like he has been connecting with the population more than the other Republican candidates. One of the issues that is of priority to him is immigration. Like many others, Donald Trump thinks the United States should abolish Birthright citizenship.
For us Haitian this issue is even more important as we are at this time dealing with the problem of Birthright. Our neighbor, the Dominican Republic, has decided to deport to Haiti not only those who have been emigrating illegally but also their children, whether or not they were born in the Dominican Republic. Dominicans of Haitian descent have been stripped of their citizenship rights.
On Monday, May 25, 2015, about 30 members of Montreal's Haitian community gathered outside the Citizenship and Immigration office in Montreal to denounce a federal government decision to resume deportation of about 3,200 Haitians and 300 Zimbabwe nationals. In an earlier statement dated December 1, 2014, the Canadian Government has informed that in acknowledgment of improved conditions in Haiti and Zimbabwe, the Government of Canada will lift the temporary suspension of removals (TSR) to these two countries, unless the people from Haiti and Zimbabwe living in Canada for decades, fulfill the immigration criteria and apply for a permanent resident status before June 1, 2015. People without any legal status from these two countries in Canada will be removed.
Haiti and the Dominican Republic are the two countries in the Caribbean with the maximum cases of visa frauds. Recently, on Friday, May 15, Robert Hannan, the US Consul General in Haiti has reported about 11,000 cases of fraud visa applications where the applicants have purported wrong information about their family, financial and professional backgrounds.
The US Consul General has urged that every visa applicant must provide only truthful information on their visa applications. The US department does not authorize any intermediary person or authority for assisting aspiring applicants or to receive any fees on behalf of the department or receive any money to provide information for sharing specific knowledge or information about visa. Every applicant should contact the concerned US department directly for all visa updates. Any person claiming to work for the U.S. Embassy over the telephone should be considered as fraudulent. The U.S department encourages common Haitian people to avoid these criminals and visit the consular officer at the U.S department and discuss about his plan to visit the United States. This is the only way; there is no other way of getting a visitor visa. Applicants for U.S. visas are required to appear in person for a scheduled visa interview at the U.S. Embassy.
Haitians started moving to Polk County back in the 1980s. The early immigrants were citrus pickers who came from impoverished backgrounds to work in the orange groves. After a while, when they saved enough, brought their families and friends to join them to live and work in the Polk County. And till then the process never stopped.
Today, Polk County is the home to some 10,000 Haitian descendents, many of whom never had visited their homeland. The local Haitian Youth Association celebrates Haitian Flag Day event in the honor of the Caribbean nation's independence from French colonialism. But the Saturday event (May 16, 2015) of flag hosting was actually performed with many fold objectives. It was an opportunity to teach the kids about their own rich culture who have born on this American soil. Once, the Haitian flag was tricolored... red, white and blue. When the country got independence from the French, they forced all the white French colonizers to leave. To signify white colonizers leaving the country, white was then taken out, leaving only red and blue on the flag. A ribbon at the bottom of the national flag says "L'Union Fait La Force" (Unity Makes Strength) which every young Haitians must bear in mind.
On Thursday, June 18, during a press conference, Emmanuel Menard, the Director General of the National Old Age Insurance Office (ONA) has announced the creation of a solidarity fund (FONDSONA) valuing over 2 million gourdes for the expelled Haitians. The fund has been collected through voluntary contribution from the salaries of their employees to assist the repatriated Haitians from the Dominic Republic.
The Director General of ONA has said he is proud of his employees' generous gesture and hopes other organizations to follow their steps. The Group "Haïti Chérie" (Dear Haiti), an entity in the Haitian private sector, has also announced the creation of a civic solidarity fund within the framework of upcoming repatriations of Haitian citizens. The fund initially consists an amount of one million gourdes. Moreover, this group has invited all national authorities to take necessary effective measures to improve the investment climate in the country.
On May 31, 2015, nearly 500 people assembled and marched from the St. Michel metro station in Montreal to Jarry Park to protest against the possible deportation of thousands of Haitian migrants who were so far protected by a moratorium that prevented their deportation and were allowed to stay in Canada on humanitarian grounds. A Circular dated June1, 2015, issued by the Canadian government revoked their current status as 'refugee'. Although, the Canadian government had earlier facilitated an application process to continue with their current status, most could not afford the prescribed application fees of $550. Without any identification document, they are devoid of all basic amenities, health services, education facilities or authorized employment opportunities. The critics of the moratorium lift are of opinion that the government should find proper ways to integrate undocumented migrants into Canadian society.
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