Haitian - Dominican in talk about Regularization of Illegal Aliens

Since the Dominican Republic (DR) Constitutional Court issued a ruling Dominicans of Haitian descent and the progeny of illegal immigrants are no longer citizens of the DR, the international community has been in an uproar. Haiti made no public comment on the matter until last week.


After a CARICOM meeting, President Martelly and CARICOM Chairman, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, held a press conference to discuss the situation. Martelly was emphatic Haiti would never cut ties in trade with the Dominican Republic. He said Haiti and the DR share the island of Hispaniola, and enacting a trade embargo would not benefit either nation. Trade revenue with the DR amounts to nearly two billion yearly.

Haiti wants to dialogue with the Dominican Republic, and Martelly and Persad-Bissessar have created an agenda the Dominican Republic must commit to, if it expects to avoid exclusion from the diplomatic community. Among the requirements the DR must fulfill to show goodwill is to formulate "within 90 days a national plan for the regularization of illegal aliens and then to implement the plan." The DR and Haiti are scheduled to meet again in a few days to continue talking, but reports say the DR may cancel.

Martelly cautioned the international community in the midst of the furor over the DR's actions; the Haitian government must be patient in dealing with such a charged issue. CARICOM's Ralph Gonsalves said the Caribbean region wants to interact with the DR, ". . . but only in good faith."

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Read more: dominican, immigration, Dominican Republic, CARICOM, Trade, Illegal Immigration, International

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