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In what is nothing short of a travesty, the Dominican Republic could deport over 100,000 Haitians from the country this week, according to The Nation.

Last year, the country revoked the citizenship of more than 100,000 Dominicans born in the country of Haitian parents, and many of those people have never stepped foot into Haiti.

From The Nation:

The pope has spoken out, sort of. He told Dominican bishops that they “cannot be indifferent to the plight of Haitian immigrants.” Yet the impending expulsion will not be of immigrants but Dominicans of Haitian descent, born in the Dominican Republic, with family and friends and property and work in the Dominican Republic; many of them have never been to Haiti or know anyone in Haiti (though the Dominican press insists on calling them “Haitians”).

How many are vulnerable? The common reference is over 100,000. Rachel Nolan, who reported on the impending deportation in Harper’s, writes 210,000. I’ve also heard between 300,000 and 500,000. But who knows? And what will be the criteria to decide once the expulsions get underway and achieve self-propulsion? Already in poor neighborhoods they are sweeping up “dark-skinned Dominicans with Haitian facial features.”

The Dominican government has set up a number of centers where Dominicans of Haitian descent can try to “regularize” their status, and thus avoid being expelled. It’s a charade. The offices are overcrowded, understaffed, and the needed paperwork doesn’t exist (many Dominicans of Haitian descent were born in rural areas, since their parents came to work the sugar fields, with midwifes and not in hospitals, and were therefore never issued birth certificates).

The deadline in the National Plan to Regularize Aliens expires on June 17.

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