|DAJABON, Dominican Republic – About 500 Haitians have been repatriated in the past few days after being caught crossing illegally into the Dominican Republic, the Cesfront border security force said.|
The Haitians were arrested after being found hiding in the woods, houses, abandoned buildings and vacant lots in Dajabon, a city in the northwestern Dominican Republic, Cesfront said.
The migrants were turned over to immigration service officers in Dajabon for repatriation.
Haitians are doing everything possible to get into the Dominican Republic in the wake of a cholera outbreak in Haiti that has killed more than 300 people, reports in Dajabon say.
Marines and air force personnel were deployed along the border on Wednesday to bolster security, Cesfront said.
The governor of the Haitian border department of Fort Liberte, Renord Joseph, and other officials met with Dominican officials in Dajabon and agreed to cancel the bilateral market scheduled to be held on Friday.
Dominican officials estimate that around 1 million Haitians live in the country, most of them illegal immigrants who work in agriculture and construction.
The Dominican Republic and Haiti share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, with Haiti in the western portion. Though both countries are poor, Haiti is destitute, and Haitians cross the border to do work that many Dominicans will not do, such as harvesting sugar cane * click on link to see video!
Haitians have been the target of mob violence numerous times in recent years, and the Dominican government has been widely criticized for its treatment of the migrants.
Source: Latin American Herald Tribune