I’m not sure if anyone else has been waiting to see what happens in the Dominican Republic with regards to the deadline passing for Haitians to register with immigration authorities, but I certainly have been. As of Thursday, hundreds of thousands of Haitians and their descendants in the Dominican Republic are now in limbo and could be deported if caught by Dominican authorities.
Luckily, Dominican authorities reported that they would not begin rapid or mass deportations, which is what I know I was worried about. Instead, they are going to be evaluating individual cases while respecting human rights. Originally, many had feared that this new crack down on illegal immigration would actually turn into an anti-Haitian campaign, luckily, this has so far not been the case.
Unfortunately, this only applies to those 275,000 who registered to establish residency status, for the 250,000 others who did not come forward with documents, they risk deportation. In the meantime, everyone must walk around with documents in the event that they are stopped by immigration officials. For now, Haitians who are largely working in low-paying agricultural and construction jobs are safe in Dominican Republic from mass arrests and sweeps, and hopefully this trend continues.