Haitian migrants in Dominican Republic lack documents to get legal status

Because Haiti suffers the reputation of being the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, it has spurred hundreds of thousands of Haitian migrants to cross over the border into the Dominican Republic (DR) seeking jobs. The DR, seeking to implement immigration control, has started a program to give resident status to Haitian migratory workers, who have been in the country prior to October 2011. The DR is asking for a Haitian identity card, passport, or birth certificate. The problem is the Haitian government's inertia in processing requests for the identity documents.


Haitians have not had an easy go of it in the Dominican Republic, but they direct their ire at Haiti's bungling bureaucracy. The immigration authorities are imposing a fee of $60 for a new birth certificate, voter ID, and passport. The fee is well beyond the means of migrant workers whose take-home pay amounts to only five dollars per day.

Non-government groups like National Migration Roundtable (NMR) have been forcing the issue with the Haitian government. NMR Director William Charpentier says, ". . . the Haitian authorities have been somewhat irresponsible."

A list of Haitian immigration services available: haitianbusiness.com

Migrants are camping out in front of Interior Ministry offices to register. But 50,000-plus of those attempting to register, only 120 had all the necessary documents. The residency registration program began in June 2014 and will expire in early 2015. Failing to meet the residency requirements by then will result in probable deportation and lack of work or education opportunities.

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Read more: immigration, Dominican Republic, Illegal Immigration, immigration

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