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Dominican Republic tightens border with Haiti

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2016 | 1:00 AM

SANTO DOMINGO (CMC):

The northwest border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti has been tightened as according to officials, hundreds of Haitians many of them undocumented - are trying to enter the country.

A contingent of 900 troops was dispatched to the border in what officials are calling 'Operation Shield'. They have joined 1,200 solders already assigned to patrol the area that divides the island of Hispaniola.

The Immigration Agency says the Haitians who are not qualified to immigrate to the Dominican Republic have been trying to enter collectively as immigrants, while others entered for a binational market held on Mondays and Fridays.

At a recent press conference, Immigration Agency supervisor Rafael M. Vasquez said in conjunction with other agencies, security and surveillance along the border have been bolstered to prevent the entry of undocumented persons.

He also noted that Haitians with proper documents are allowed to cross the border as the army, border guards, immigration inspectors and other security agencies are complying with the country's immigration law

Last year, the Government issued residency permits to 184,000 people who could prove they had been living in the country before October 2011.

An estimated 300,000 are thought to be here without legal status.

Officials have warned that anyone without legal residency may face deportation.