Dom Rep not 'rounding up' Haitians - Ambassador
Approximately 350,000 persons who were deemed by the government of the Dominican Republic to be illegal aliens will be allowed to reside in the country.
That's the word from Dominican Republic Ambassador to Jamaica Dr Jose Tomas Ares, even as he rebuffed claims that 200,000 Haitians were booted from that country.
"These people have been properly registered and will be granted the documentary status that they deserve," Ares said as he addressed journalists at his embassy in St Andrew yesterday.
According to Ares, nearly 9,000 children of foreign parents with illegal status, who were not registered in the country's civil registry, have also qualified for citizenship status.
Additionally, Ares said that 55,000 persons who qualified under a special system for the benefit of children of foreign parents who are with irregular status and were born in the Dominican Republic between June 16, 1929 and April 18, 2007, have been granted Dominican nationality.
Ares dismissed claims that a move was made by the Dominican Republic administration to round up persons of Haitian descent and dump them in the neighbouring territory.
"It is particularly interesting to note the falsity of statements by local and international news that more than 200,000 persons were stateless and would be in danger of being expelled from the Dominican Republic," said Ares.
"This is absolutely false," he said.
"A public information campaign was launched and 24 centres were opened nationwide to offer information, assistance and to facilitate proper registration."
He said the activities were coordinated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; the UN Refugee Agency; International Organisation for Migration; the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); the European Union; the United Nations Development Fund and the National Board for Migration.
"Given that the Dominican Republic has made an effort, as very few countries have done, with great success, we are providing all the information to the world, so that everyone can understand what is happening in the Dominican Republic," said Ares.