The Dominican Republic has decided to return to its plans of deporting more than 200,000 Black residents of Haitian descent, reports the Huffington Post.
Hundreds waited in line to process documents at the central administration building in the hopes of being granted an extended stay, but it was largely to no avail. It is projected that thousands will be rejected and required to leave their homes within 45 days.
The country had devised a plan to offer undocumented immigrants (a population of approximately 500,000) two-year legal migration status to those who were approved. The term “undocumented immigrants” generally refers to Black residents born to non-citizens after the year 1929. However, the plan has been criticized for being inefficient and highly tedious. Officials have returned paperwork for minor reasons like typos or spelling mistakes. What’s more, out of about 288,000 applications that have been submitted, only about 5,000 have been approved over the last 18 months.
The application itself is free, and undocumented people were asked to submit documents confirming their identity, work history, financial status and connections to Dominican culture. Yet the application has hidden fees like notarization requirements and processing costs to retrieve personal documents. Many have to travel long distances to meet with officials to file their papers or meet with lawyers. Some have spent hundreds of dollars trying to prepare their application. The most vulnerable people are risking going into debt to change their status—even though they may never be granted a status change.
The strife faced by residents of the Dominican Republic with Haitian descent shows the universality of the Black lives matter movement. Some have spoken out about being molested and robbed by the police during their efforts to file their papers. Even more horrifying, Black residents are being lynched for the public to see.
We will keep you posted on the latest details in the DR ethnic cleansing crisis.