News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. July 16, 2015: A top U.S. State Department official on Wednesday testified that the Obama administration is closely monitoring the deportation issue on the island of Hispaniola – which is home to both the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
“We are also following closely the situation along Haiti’s border with the Dominican Republic,” Thomas C. Adams, Haiti Special Coordinator At The U.S. Department Of State said yesterday a hearing called by Senator Marco Rubio of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee On Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.
Adams insisted that the US is “concerned by reports that tens of thousands of people, mostly Haitians and people of Haitian descent, have crossed the border from the Dominican Republic into Haiti since early June.”
“We are monitoring the situation closely and actively engaging with the Government of the Dominican Republic, the Government of Haiti, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, civil society organizations, and the international community to confirm that the appropriate authorities work to ensure security and the protection of human rights,” he said.
Adams also disclosed that the United States is also funding civil society organizations and international organizations, including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to assist in these efforts.
“We continue to encourage the Governments of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to consult and collaborate with each other and with civil society groups and international organizations to develop processes that uphold the rule of law, provide procedural safeguards, and are consistent with each country’s international obligations and commitments,” Adams said.
Rubio for his part noted concerns about Haiti’s ongoing border dispute with the Dominican Republic and U.S. spending in Haiti but said he is now “cautiously optimistic that a new democratically elected government will be inaugurated.”
“When Haiti is stable and prosperous, America benefits,” the Republican Presidential hopeful said. “When Haiti is unstable, unsecure and lacking in opportunity for its people, it creates vacuums where criminal gangs — or worse — can operate. And it can lead to migratory pressures in the U.S. — or disastrous and deadly tragedies on the high seas.”
Meanwhile, the State Department official revealed that $4.1 billion was pledged to Haiti following the devastating earthquake of 2010 and so far 80 percent or $3.3 billion has been disbursed.
Adams also disclosed that Haiti needs as much as $50 million to carry out successful elections this year.
“There is a fairly good chance (the election) will happen,” Adams said about the scheduled Aug. 9 elections to restore Haiti’s parliament. “But there are still a few issues left. One is a lack of funding.”