Haiti Not To Receive Persons at Risk of Statelessness

As per news report dated August 21, 2015, with the start of repatriations of undocumented aliens under the National Regularization Plan (PNR) by the Dominican Government since Saturday, August 15, the Haitian Foreign Minister Lener Renauld on Wednesday (August 19) has said that simply deporting some people living in the D.R, illegally with undocumented status, does not warrant Haitian authority to accept them as their compatriots. Without adherence to the protocol established between the two States earlier in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS), Haiti cannot accept or receive persons at risk of statelessness in its territory. We may recall that Haiti and Dominican Republic had signed a "Memorandum of understanding on the mechanisms of repatriation between the Dominican Republic and Haiti" on December 2, 1999.

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The agreement between the two states also states that, before any deportation, a concluding dialogue to review the repatriation protocol must be held. Furthermore, expulsion cannot be carried out at night or on Sundays, or an afternoon on holidays. The Dominicans should understand that these Haitians did not just arrive there overnight and an overnight expulsion is never realistic. Their properties and attachments should be respected and taken into account. The Haitian Foreign Minister Lener Renauld has denounced the Dominican government's unilateral action as they ignored every protocol of an orderly repatriation of undocumented migrants.

Meanwhile, the DR authority has rejected Haiti's proposals suggesting they need not consult with a foreign government over their own immigration laws. Moreover, they are not prepared to sign any new repatriation protocols. On August 18, the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro did warn that there are many people in the Dominican Republic who are at risks of becoming stateless persons. A 'Stateless Person' is defined under Article 1 of the 1954 Convention as "a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law". On Wednesday, August 19, the Dominican government deported the largest group of Haitians from the province of Dajabon: 25 men and 10 women, who were arrested during raids on their farms and businesses.

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