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NYC Activists To Rally Against DR Deportation Of Haitians

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Haitians and Dominicans protesting last January in NYC. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Aug. 11, 2015: Haitian activists are amassing a support base for a massive protest rally this Friday across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

Haitian New Yorkers and their supporters, including some from the Dominican Republic community, are set to march from Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park in Brooklyn to City Hall in Manhattan in protest of deportations of Haitian from the Dominican Republic.

“No to racism, no to xenophobia, no to the expulsion of families,” is their message.

The protestors say the deportation of Haitians from the Dominican Republic is an injustice and the goal is make the public aware of the situation. The rally is set to get underway at 9 a.m. on August 14th.

In September 2013 a court decision stripped of citizenship Dominicans born to foreigners “in transit” — that is, undocumented immigrants. The decision applied retroactively to those born in the country since 1929. As many as 200,000 people were put at risk of becoming stateless. The Dominican government is also under fire for cracking down on undocumented immigrants, the vast majority who came from Haiti.

“I am personally not satisfied with the response from the United States,” said Jennings Louis, who organized the march, told the Haitian Times. “I don’t feel like things are moving fast enough in terms of addressing the issue overall on a wide scale,” said Louis who expects sizable turnout for the event.

The Coalition is demanding that the Dominican government to return citizenship to everyone from whom it was taken and ensure the safety and security of all people of Haitian descent from acts of violence, intimidation, and forcible removal from their homes.

They also want both the Dominican and the Haitian governments to assume their responsibilities and expeditiously address the current humanitarian crisis at the border.

They also are urging the United States government and the international community to exercise influence to ensure that the basic human rights and civil rights of all people are protected in the Dominican Republic.

New York is home to an estimated 100,000 Haitians and 400,000 Dominicans.

The demonstration is sponsored by Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and Councilman Mathieu Eugene, both Brooklyn Democrats, and organized by the Haitian American Caucus and the Coalition for Human Rights in the Dominican Republic.

Visit www.chrdr.org for information on the coalition and the protest.

In Florida, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and human rights activists accused US Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama of not condemning what they saw as a major human rights violation.

Kerry had reportedly met with Dominican President Danilo Medina in the hopes of finding a diplomatic solution to the problem but a state department official claimed the United States government was limited in what it could do because it was an internal problem.

 

‘At the same time the Department of State has to make clear that the Dominican Republic is an independent, sovereign nation,” Kent Brokenshire, deputy coordinator at the State Department, told The Miami Times.

This as CNN reports that some 560 former Peace Corps volunteers and three former Peace Corps country directors who worked in the Dominican Republic are calling for the United States to suspend funding to Dominican security forces accused of committing human rights violations against Dominicans of Haitian descent.

The letter to Secretary of State John Kerry documents abuses committed by some Dominican forces related to the country’s revocation of citizenship of Dominicans born of undocumented immigrants, and a simultaneous crackdown on illegal immigration from Haiti.

Meanwhile, Dr Federico Cuello Camilo, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the UK, recently visited the Guardian newspaper in the UK and insisted that 370 thousand people obtained their legal status free of government charges, at a cost of US$45 million to the Dominican taxpayer.

“The contribution of Haitian manpower to DR’s economy will now increase, because 74% of irregular migrants are in the process of being documented, as a result of the implementation of the PNRE and Law 169-14. These workers will be able to demand fair labor conditions, thus contributing to the increase of the standards of living for all, Dominicans and foreigners,” the diplomat stated. “Regrettably, nobody has given the DR its due, even after extending indefinitely the deadline for regularization after 1 August last.”