Friday, January 7, 2011

Doing as they say, not as they do

The Dominican Republic has launched its first major crackdown on illegal Haitian immigrants since last year's devastating earthquake, rounding up and deporting hundreds of people in recent days, officials said Thursday.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola and have a long history of cross-border tension. Relations improved in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 quake, with the Dominican government providing assistance and serving as a staging ground for the international relief effort.

Still, human-rights groups complain that Haitians are subjected to bitter discrimination.

The Dominican government, which suspended deportations after the earthquake, resumed efforts against illegal immigration this week, stopping and detaining people at checkpoints around the country. In a rare move, checkpoints were also set up outside the capital.

More than 700 Haitians have been deported since Monday and more are expected in coming days, said Ambiorix Rosario, Department of Migration spokesman.

Dominican officials said the crackdown is necessary to stem growing illegal immigration since the earthquake and to prevent the spread of cholera, which has killed more than 3,000 people in Haiti since the outbreak began in October. About 150 have been sickened in the Dominican Republic.

Get that? The Dominican Republic deports illegal immigrants from Haiti in order to avoid social unrest, economic dislocation and disease. But, the U.S.A. isn't supposed to deport illegal immigrants from the Dominican Republic.

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