Dominican Republic and Haiti: The Dominican Republic's migration policies regarding its border with Haiti; exit and entry procedures at land borders, including required documents for Haitian nationals; irregular movements between the two countries (2020–August 2022) [ZZZ201066.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

1. Overview

The border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti is [approximately] 392 km long (Al Jazeera 21 Feb. 2022; The Guardian 25 Feb. 2022; Reuters 20 Feb. 2022). Sources indicate that there are four "official" border crossing points (AFP 3 Nov. 2021; UN n.d.; Dominican Today 7 July 2021) and 96 "unofficial" border crossing points along the Dominican-Haitian border (UN n.d.).

Sources state that the flow of migration between Haiti and the Dominican Republic "is highly active and challenging" (UN June 2021, 3) or that this land border [translation] "exhibit[s] many complexities" (CEDESO and OBMICA 24 Feb. 2022, 1).

According to sources, "[m]any" Haitians cross the border from Haiti to the Dominican Republic to work in the agriculture and construction industries (Reuters 20 Feb. 2022; Al Jazeera 21 Feb. 2022). Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that "[t]ens of thousands" of Haitians "rely on informal labor" in the Dominican Republic "for their survival" (AFP 3 Nov. 2021). The IOM provides the following data on "observed movements" [1] along the Dominican-Haitian border in June 2021:

  • 60.7 percent were "daily commute[s]," including "commerce between border towns" and medical visits;
  • 19 percent were "[s]pontaneous/voluntary returns";
  • 7.8 percent were "economic migration (more than 6 months)"; and
  • 1.9 percent were "forced displacement (arbitrary expulsions, deportations, and non-admissions)" (UN June 2021, 7).

2. Migration Policies in the Dominican Republic

For information on permanent and temporary residence in the Dominican Republic, including legislation and procedures to obtain permanent and temporary residence permits, see Response to Information Request ZZZ105286 of October 2015.

2.1 Legislation

The General Law on Migration No. 285-04 (Ley General de Migración No. 285-04) provides the following on the entry of foreigners into the Dominican Republic:

[translation]

ON NON-RESIDENTS

Art. 36.- Foreigners who qualify in any of the following subcategories are admitted as non-residents:

  1. Tourists, who are understood to be foreigners who enter the country for purposes of leisure, recreation, rest, or amusement, and who have sufficient resources to do so.
  2. Businesspeople who visit the country because of their business or commercial activities or to evaluate the establishment of such activities.
  3. Crew and personnel of a means of transport.
  4. Passengers in transit to other destinations abroad.
  5. Temporary workers, who are understood to be all foreigners who enter the national territory to provide employment services for a defined period of time, individually or as part of a team, under contract with individuals or companies that operate economic units in the country for production, distribution of goods and services, and according to migration quota allocations and policy plans developed by the National Immigration Council (Consejo Nacional de Migración). For the purposes of this Act, seasonal contracts in the sugar industry will be deemed to be fixed term work contracts.
  6. Inhabitants of border communities who carry out non-work activities in the form of small business operations. These are understood to be foreigners who reside in border areas adjacent to the national territory who enter the country within a perimeter of the border and who are duly authorized to carry out legal and productive activities and return daily to their place of residence.
  7. Members of groups involved in sports, artistic, academic or related activities.
  8. Foreigners entering the country with a residence visa with the intention of completing the proper procedures to formalize Dominican residence from within the country.
  9. Students who enter the country to pursue studies as regular students in officially recognized establishments.
  10. Non-residents are considered to be persons in transit, for purposes of the application of Article 11 of the Constitution of the Dominican Republic. (Dominican Republic 2004)

Regulation No. 631-11 (Regulación Número: 631-11) provides the following:

[translation]

ARTICLE 81.-

e. Border inhabitants of border communities. Any foreigner residing in an area of the Republic of Haiti bordering the national territory in one of the provinces of Pedernales, Independencia, Elías Piña, Dajabón, and Monte Cristi who enters the country within the border perimeter, who engages in non-work activities dedicated to small business, shall have a maximum continuous stay of one (1) day, having to return daily to their place of residence. The border inhabitant may only remain in one of the provinces, mentioned above, during this period. In order to enter the country, the border inhabitant must comply with the following requirements:

  1. Official personal identification document valid in the country of origin and valid for at least one (1) year;
  2. Border inhabitant card [see Section 3.6 of this Response] provided by the DGM [General Directorate of Immigration (Dirección General de Migración)] after the applicant’s biometric screening and registration, which contains the authorization to exercise activity in the border province bordering their place of residence in Haiti.
  3. The border inhabitant of a border community whose activity exceeds the geographic limit of the border province bordering that of their residence in Haiti shall be considered illegal and the ID card provided by the DGM shall be cancelled, and their departure from the country shall be ordered. (Dominican Republic 2011, bold in original)

2.1.1 Procedures and Documentation Required for Those Entering and Exiting the Dominican Republic

The General Law on Migration No. 285-04 provides the following:

[translation]

ON THE PROCEDURE TO BE ADMITTED AS A NON-RESIDENT PERSON IN THE SUBCATEGORY OF SEASONAL WORKERS

Art. 49.- Whenever the needs of the labour market so require, the National Immigration Council shall establish a quota, or number, of temporary workers to be admitted into the country annually, making due consultations for such purposes with representatives of producers and employers and trade unions. These workers shall perform their labour activities in the areas of the economy where the National Immigration Council recognizes the need for their hiring and defines the annual admission quotas by sectors of activity.

PARAGRAPH.- In any event, these workers may not work in activities of free zones or tourist companies, except in border areas, provided that there are international agreements focused on these activities, and provisions are issued to that effect.

Art. 50.- The requesting foreign national shall apply for admission to the subcategory of temporary worker, through the appropriate Consulates of the Republic, and shall submit all the documentation required for such purposes by this law and its regulations.

Art. 51.- In order to authorize the admission of temporary workers under the contracted quota scheme, the relevant individual or legal entity shall submit an application for admission to the General Directorate of Immigration, and they shall comply with the regulatory conditions and requirements regarding labour rights and conditions, communication of information on workers, transportation, travel expenses, and repatriation.

PARAGRAPH.- In any event, foreign workers who will be part of quotas shall follow the general visa application procedure provided for in the preceding article.

Art. 52.- In order to guarantee the due control of the movements of temporary workers, in the authorized entry posts, the Labour Coordination Offices (Oficinas de Coordinación Laboral) of the State Secretariat for Labour (Secretaría de Estado de Trabajo) shall be established, which together with the authorities of the General Directorate of Immigration shall perform labour intermediation, channeling and information functions, in coordination with the employers and the contracting individuals and legal entities.

Art. 53.- If at the time of the immigration control of entry, there is a proven lack of physical fitness, the existence of infectious diseases, or the lack of a document necessary to prove the identity of the worker, or any other of the impediments to admission provided for in this law, the immigration authorities shall not admit the worker and shall proceed to their immediate return to their place of origin.

PARAGRAPH.- In the case of a worker who is part of a contracted quota, the expenses incurred in complying with such a measure shall be borne by the contracting individual or legal entity.

Art. 54.- The migratory authority in charge of carrying out the entry control, once the worker is admitted, shall grant them a temporary worker card, in accordance with the model to be established by the General Directorate of Immigration.

Art. 55.- The temporary worker card shall contain, inter alia, the following basic information:

  1. Names, surnames, and photograph of the worker.
  2. Type and number of identity document from their country of origin.
  3. Date of birth and sex.
  4. Date and place of entry.
  5. Duration of stay.
  6. Extension of the duration of stay, if applicable.
  7. Activity to be performed by the temporary worker.
  8. Area in which they reside and work.
  9. Series and number of the document or card given to the worker.
  10. Signature and fingerprints of the employee.
  11. Name, address, and economic activity of the employer.

Art. 56.- The temporary worker card shall entitle its holder to perform the remunerated activity for which it was issued, for the stated term, and in the assigned zone. Whoever performs work activities without being in possession of the relevant card, or performs work activities different from, or in different zones from, those for which they are authorized, or transgresses the authorized period of stay, shall be considered an illegal foreigner, subject to deportation in accordance with the provisions of this law.

Art. 57.- For the purpose of ensuring compliance with the obligations placed on the contracting employers, under the quota scheme, the Directorate General of Immigration shall require them to submit a contract performance guarantee for each worker to be hired, the amount of which shall not be less than the monthly salary that the worker shall earn, or the sum of the expenses estimated by the Directorate General of Immigration for the return of the worker to their country of origin, whichever amount is greater.

PARAGRAPH.- The granting of the deposit required by the contract performance guarantee referred to in this article does not release the employer from the sanctions that may be applied for violation of this law and its regulations.

Art. 58.- Within eight (8) days of the expiration of the period for which they have been hired, temporary workers shall be repatriated at the expense of the individual or legal entity that has hired them under the quota scheme, or before said expiration in the event that the workers have become disabled for work and have been discharged by the intervening health authority.

Art. 59.- For the purposes of the preceding article, the individual or legal entity contracting under the quota system shall notify the General Directorate of Immigration sufficiently in advance of the date of departure of workers, and on that occasion must submit a copy of the admittance list, prepared by the immigration authority acting at that time, with the hiring and severance that will have occurred, for the purposes of verification of their departure.

Art. 60.- The admission procedure for the subcategory of temporary workers and other persons who carry out cross-border non-work activities shall be governed in accordance with the bilateral agreements to be established, taking into account the condition of reciprocity.

SECTION XIII:

ON THE ENTRY, REGISTRATION, EXIT, AND RE-ENTRY OF FOREIGN NATIONALS

Article 65.- The entry of nationals and foreign nationals into the national territory shall only occur through the places specially authorized for that purpose. An authorized place is understood to be that which is under the control of the immigration authorities and has been so determined by the competent authorities.

PARAGRAPH.- The authorized places may be temporarily closed to the transit of persons when circumstances make this measure advisable.

Art. 66.- All foreigners, regardless of their category of admission, shall be subject upon entering the country, to the relevant immigration control, which shall be under the charge of the authority of the Directorate General of Immigration. The regulations of this law and the resolutions of the competent bodies shall establish the documentation that foreign nationals in the different admission categories and subcategories must present at the time of their immigration control inspection upon entry.

Art. 67.- Every foreign national who is admitted into the country shall be issued a special entry card establishing their immigration status, which they shall keep until their immigration status changes, or they leave the country.

Art. 68.- It is illegal for a foreign national to enter the national territory under any of the following circumstances:

  1. Entry into the country through a place not authorized for such purposes or evading immigration control at entry.
  2. Entry with false or incomplete documentation.
  3. Entry into the country with genuine but fraudulently obtained documentation.

Art. 69.- When a foreign national's entry into the country is declared illegal, in accordance with the provisions of this law, the General Directorate of Immigration shall proceed with their deportation.

...

Art. 71.- Within thirty (30) days of entering the country with a residence visa, a foreign national must appear before the General Directorate of Immigration in order to complete the residency application process and proceed with registration.

PARAGRAPH.- In the case of temporary workers, the immigration authority in charge of entry control shall, upon admission of the foreign national, proceed with their registration.

Art. 72.- The Registry of Foreign Nationals shall include information on the first and last names, photograph, and fingerprints of each foreigner to be registered, in addition to their nationality, date of birth, sex, marital status, date of entry, domicile, profession, activity to be carried out in the country, and financial standing.

Art. 75.- Once registration in the Registry of Foreign Nationals is complete, the General Directorate of Immigration shall deliver the following documents:

c. The foreign national admitted as a temporary worker shall be issued a card valid for the authorized period of stay.

...

ON THE DEPARTURE AND RE-ENTRY OF FOREIGNERS

Art. 77.- No means of international transportation may leave the national territory without first having undergone a full review of the documents of all its passengers and crew, by the appropriate immigration control authorities.

Art. 78.- In order to leave the country, foreign nationals, regardless of the immigration category for their stay, must possess valid passports or, in the absence thereof, travel documents that duly identify them, or other documents accepted by the General Directorate of Immigration that prove their identity. (Dominican Republic 2004, bold in original)

3. Enforcement and Implementation

The Latin American Bureau (LAB), a non-profit organization, publisher, and online platform from the UK (LAB n.d.), notes that since August 2020, the president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, "has introduced several measures aimed at curbing illegal immigration" from Haiti (LAB 9 Mar. 2022). According to the same source, the Dominican Minister of the Interior and Police stated that "'the main problem facing [the Dominican Republic] is Haiti, and we have to defend our homeland'" (LAB 9 Mar. 2022). Diario Libre, a Spanish-language newspaper in the Dominican Republic, reports that in November 2021, President Abinader announced that his government [translation] "will develop 'stricter' immigration measures in view of the crisis situation" in Haiti (Diario Libre 1 Nov. 2021). The Centre for Sustainable Development (Centro de Desarrollo Sostenible, CEDESO), a non-profit NGO in the Enriquillo region of the Dominican Republic that promotes community development and serves Dominicans of Haitian origin and migrants (CEDESO n.d.), and OBMICA, a think tank in the Dominican Republic that works on migration and social development issues in the Caribbean (OBMICA n.d.), state that the election of President Abinader marks

[translation]

a tightening of immigration policies and the introduction of practices that violate national immigration legislation, bilateral agreements with Haiti and international conventions to the detriment of compliance with rights of migrants and their descendants born in the Dominican Republic, failing to adequately account for the effects of the pandemic and limiting access to public health for certain categories of migrants. (CEDESO and OBMICA 24 Feb. 2022, 1)

3.1 Deportations

Dominican Today, an English-language online newspaper based in Santo Domingo, reports that according to the Director-General of Migration, "at least" 200,000 "undocumented Haitians have been repatriated" between January and 8 March 2021 "after being arrested by members" of the army and the Specialized Corps in Land Border Security (Cuerpo Especializado en Seguridad Fronteriza Terrestre, Cesfront) (Dominican Today 8 Mar. 2021). The Associated Press (AP) states that "more than 31,000" Haitians were deported by the Dominican Republic in 2021, including "Haitians who crossed illegally into the Dominican Republic; Haitians whose Dominican work permits have expired; those born in the [Dominican Republic] to Haitian parents but denied citizenship" and, according to activists, "Black Dominicans born to Dominican parents whom authorities mistake for Haitians" (AP 6 Dec. 2021). The Support Group for Returnees and Refugees (Groupe d'appui aux rapatriés et réfugiés, GARR), an organization based in Haiti that works with refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons, and other "users" of the Haitian-Dominican border (Peace Insight Jan. 2016), indicates on its Facebook page that in April 2022, it had witnessed 7,300 individuals crossing the Haitian border from the Dominican Republic, including 3,158 who were [translation] "repatriated," 896 who were denied entry into the Dominican Republic, and 3,246 "spontaneous returns" (GARR 5 May 2022). According to sources, pregnant Haitian women have been deported from the Dominican Republic (GARR [2 Dec.] 2021; EFE 1 Dec. 2021) by immigration agents who intercepted them at local clinics (EFE 1 Dec. 2021).

3.2 Binational Markets

Sources dating from January 2020 and earlier indicate that Haitians do not need visas [or passports (Stateless in the Dominican Republic [2011])] on Mondays or Fridays to cross into Dajabón (Stateless in the Dominican Republic [2011]; CGHE Jan. 2020), Comendador, or Pedernales for "market day"; however, "Haitians without documentation are not permitted to travel more than about 100 yards into the Dominican Republic, and they are expected to return to their country by 6 p.m." (Stateless in the Dominican Republic [2011]). More recent information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. Dominican Today reports that "[h]undreds of Haitians" enter Dajabón to "buy food, medicine, [and] essential products" while "others [do] so to fulfill their jobs in different economic [sectors] of the area"; "[a]fter concluding their days, they return to [Haiti]," assisted by the army and Cesfront (Dominican Today 15 July 2021).

3.3 Student Visas

OBMICA indicates that in November 2021, the Dominican Republic announced the suspension of the issuance of student visas to Haitians, [translation] "mostly" at the post-secondary level, "linking the operational problems to national security issues" (OBMICA [Nov. 2021]). Sources published in November 2021 report that the issuance of student visas for Haitian students had been suspended (Radio Métropole Haïti 3 Nov. 2021) or that the [translation] "special [visa] program" for Haitian students in the Dominican Republic had been "suspended indefinitely" (EFE 2 Nov. 2021).

3.4 Undocumented Foreign Workers

Law No. 1692 of 29 May 1992 Promulgating the Labour Code (Ley núm. 1692, de 29 de mayo de 1992, por la que se promulga el Código de Trabajo) provides the following:

[translation]

Art. 135. At least eighty percent of the total number of workers of a company must be composed of Dominicans. (Dominican Republic 1992)

Sources note that in September 2021, Dominican Republic officials announced the implementation of [Art. 135 of Law No. 1692] (MST, et al. 16 Nov. 2021) or the [translation] "'rigorous implementation'" of immigration regulations contained in the Constitution, the General Law on Migration No. 285-04, and its implementing regulation, Regulation No. 631-11 (El Nuevo Diario 30 Sept. 2021).

The Washington Post reports that Dominican Republic officials "vowed to deport undocumented Haitian workers if business owners fail to prove they have legal working permits" (The Washington Post 20 Nov. 2021). AP reports that the president "ordered Haitian migrants to register their whereabouts" (AP 6 Dec. 2021). According to sources, President Abinader announced the opening of 38 offices in the Dominican Republic (EFE 11 Nov. 2021; MST, et al. 16 Nov. 2021) in order to [translation] "actively search for undocumented immigrants, mostly Haitians" and "develop a database that will be shared with all security and immigration agencies" (EFE 11 Nov. 2021). Agencia EFE (EFE), a Spain-based news agency, further reports that according to the Deputy Minister of Immigration and Naturalization, [translation] "[i]mmigrants will be able to register voluntarily at the office and if they do not do so, officials will visit them at their places of residence" (EFE 11 Nov. 2021).

According to sources, authorities announced that individuals would be fined if they provide transportation or housing to undocumented migrants (AP 6 Dec. 2021) or immigrants without visas (MST, et al. 16 Nov. 2021).

3.5 Pregnant Haitian Women

Sources state that the Dominican Republic "plans to limit" access to public health services for "illegal immigrants" (Reuters 4 Nov. 2021) or has "limited" access to public hospitals for "undocumented individuals" (Prensa Latina 3 Dec. 2021). Sources indicate that women who are six months pregnant or more will need to have international health insurance to enter the Dominican Republic and access public health services (OBMICA [Nov. 2021]) or to have access to a hospital (MST, et al. 16 Nov. 2021).

3.6 Border Inhabitant Pilot Plan (Plan Piloto Habitante Fronterizo)

Resolution No. 09-2021 (Resolución No. 09-2021) of the DGM provides the following regarding the pilot plan for the implementation of the Border Inhabitant's Card (Carnet del Habitante Fronterizo) for individuals of Haitian origin in the province of Pedernales:

[translation]

ARTICLE 2. DEFINITION: Temporary Status under the subcategory of Border Inhabitant is a concept outlined in the General Law on Migration No. 285-04 ratified with the purpose of granting temporary status to the population residing in the area of the Republic of Haiti bordering the territory of the Dominican Republic. Given the above, this concept seeks to establish a registry of information for this migrant population and grant a temporary benefit of regularization to those who meet the requirements that shall be established at a later time, notwithstanding the discretionary power that the relevant immigration legislation grants to the Director-General of Immigration.

ARTICLE 3. ON THE SCOPE OF APPLICATION: Temporary Status under the subcategory of Border Inhabitant applies to those foreign nationals who wish to carry out business activities in the border zone; these individuals shall be obligated to return to their country daily. For this, they must comply with the following conditions:

  1. [Be in possession of] a personal identification document, valid in their country of origin and valid for at least one (1) year, which may be: a) Identity Card; b) Passport.
  2. [Be in possession of] a letter of endorsement that demonstrates that the person carries out small business activities in the border zone, which may be issued by a) local mayor’s office; b) trade associations; c) local government; d) any document that guarantees that the applicant carries out business activities in the zone; e) the existence of kinship with Haitian or Dominican citizens that live in the border zone of the Dominican Republic, for which an attestation must exist in the form of a sworn statement by said citizen, and which must be duly notarized.

ARTICLE 4. ON IMPLEMENTATION:

...

PARAGRAPH III: The application for the Border Resident Card shall be completed through the website of the General Directorate of Immigration. In the event that an applicant faces obstacles to completing the electronic application, they will be assisted in person at an immigration information desk, for which they will have to request temporary permission access from a DGM official or from the Dominican Consulate, in order to visit the DGM offices located in the border zone.

PARAGRAPH IV: The Pilot Plan shall begin on the thirtieth (30th) day of the month of October, of the year two thousand twenty-one (2021). It will have one thousand (1,000) applicants and the ability to grant a maximum of five hundred (500) Border Inhabitant Cards. This Plan shall have a duration of six (6) months and for the approval and delivery of the Border Inhabitant Cards, the location and location capacity must be available for the person receiving the benefit, and the minimum information of the applicant shall be verified and monitored throughout the duration of the Pilot Plan.

ARTICLE 5. ON VALIDITY AND CANCELLATION: Temporary status under the subcategory of border inhabitant shall be valid for one (1) year. The General Directorate of Immigration may extend or terminate the effects of the status at any time, in accordance with the powers granted to it by Law 285-04 on Migration and its Implementing Regulation. (Dominican Republic 2021)

According to Noticias Servicios Informativos Nacionales (Noticias SIN), a Spanish-language news website in the Dominican Republic (Noticias SIN n.d.), the Director of the DGM indicated that they [translation] "do not yet have a date for the issuance of the [Border Inhabitant's Card], because the characteristics and the changes to be made are still being evaluated" (Noticias SIN 16 Feb. 2022). However, other sources indicate that that the pilot program was [translation] "suspended indefinitely" due to the "socio-economic" (Proceso 9 Feb. 2022; Diario Libre 14 Feb. 2022), political, and security situation in Haiti (Diario Libre 14 Feb. 2022).

3.7 National Regularization Plan for Foreigners (Plan Nacional de Regularización de Extranjeros, PNRE)

OBMICA indicates that the Dominican Republic

[translation]

has announced a series of restrictive measures that complicate the situation for migrants coming from Haiti, particularly those who do not have regular status or who, having applied to the National Regularization Plan, are currently awaiting information on its continuity and do not have any mechanism available to renew the documentation obtained that proves their status. (OBMICA [Nov. 2021])

In November 2021, the Dominican Republic government announced an [translation] "audit" of the 220,000 foreigners registered in the PNRE to determine "who qualifies" (Dominican Republic 1 Nov. 2021). According to CEDESO and OBMICA,

[translation]

[t]here is a lack of information about the PNRE. The level of confusion is high; civil society cannot provide information to migrants because the State has not been transparent regarding what will happen with the PNRE, through which 220,000 migrants were regularized. At the community level, people do not understand what the audit process (formally announced by the authorities since late September 2021) entails, and there is speculation as to whether [the result of this process] will be a change, a rejection or the issuance of new papers. (CEDESO and OBMICA 24 Feb. 2022, 2)

3.8 Temporary Workers (Trabajadores Temporeros)

Sources report that in January 2022, "the government announced a new policy for agricultural and construction companies to register undocumented workers, who were primarily Haitian, through a temporary work permit program valid for one year at a time" (US 19 July 2022) or that the Dominican Republic plans to [translation] "register undocumented foreign workers, especially Haitian" labourers (Diario Libre 26 Jan. 2022). According to sources, registration would begin with Haitian citizens who had a passport, an identity card, or a birth certificate (US 19 July 2022; Diario Libre 26 Jan. 2022) and "beneficiaries under the law would be required to have some form of valid identification" (US 19 July 2022). Diario Libre states that, according to the Director of the DGM, the foreign national would obtain non-resident temporary worker status and [translation] "be given a card for identification purposes" (Diario Libre 26 Jan. 2022). The same source states that both the contract and the card [translation] "will be valid for one year and can be renewed during the same period. Once the term has expired, and if the work contract has not been renewed, the foreign employee must return to Haiti" (Diario Libre 26 Jan. 2022).

Further information on the temporary worker card, including physical and security features, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

3.8.1 Fraudulent Temporary Worker Cards

Information on instances of fraudulent temporary worker cards could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

4. Irregular Movements Between Haiti and the Dominican Republic

EFE reports that in February 2021, armed forces in the Dominican Republic [translation] "deployed 7,200 troops" to the Dominican-Haitian border (EFE 19 Feb. 2021). Another article by EFE, published in December 2021, notes that there are 12,000 soldiers on the Dominican-Haitian border where "checkpoints have been erected" and "border agents scan vehicles for hiding migrants" (EFE 1 Dec. 2021). Dominican Today states that there are soldiers along the Dominican-Haitian border who travel "through roads, alleys, hills, houses, abandoned buildings, and other places that can serve as shelters for undocumented Haitians crossing the border" (Dominican Today 2 Nov. 2021). According to the Washington Post, authorities in the Dominican Republic "have begun conducting raids … of people suspected to be in the country illegally" and detaining them "arbitrar[ily]" (The Washington Post 20 Nov. 2021).

A March 2021 Dominican Today article reports that "[m]any" of the approximately 200,000 Haitians arrested so far that year were stopped while "tr[ying] to cross the border clandestinely"; however, others were located in Dominican towns including Santiago, Mao, Puerto Plata, La Vega, Monseñor Nouel and Los Alcarrizos, as well as Santo Domingo Norte, Este, and National District (Distrito Nacional) (Dominican Today 8 Mar. 2021). IciHaiti, a news website owned by the Haitian news source HaitiLibre (IciHaiti n.d.), indicates that in June 2020, "[m]embers of the northwest directorate of the Dominican National Police" (Policía Nacional Dominicana, PND) arrested a Dominican national in the province of Valverde "who was transporting 17 Haitians without papers, including two children" (IciHaiti 12 June 2020). HaitiLibre further notes that in September 2020, "more than a hundred Haitian nationals" were arrested by the DGM in a single day in Santo Domingo (HaitiLibre 2 Oct. 2020). IciHaiti states that between January and November 2021, Haitian nationals were arrested "during DGM-assisted migration control operations" in various provinces, including Azua, Barahona, Duarte, Espaillat, La Vega, Monte Cristi, Sánchez Ramírez, San José de Ocoa, Santiago, Santiago Rodríguez, Santo Domingo, La Altagracia, and Valverde, as well as in the National District (IciHaiti 22 Nov. 2021). The source added that

[t]hese figures exclude Haitians intercepted at the border and returned to Haiti. From July 2020 to August 2021, 178,000 Haitians (nearly 500 on average per day) who attempted to enter Dominican territory illegally were intercepted at the border and repatriated to Haiti. (IciHaiti 22 Nov. 2021)

GazetteHaiti, a French-language Haitian news source, reports that the Dominican Republic arrested 234 undocumented Haitians [translation] "who were trying" to cross the border in Dajabón in April 2021 (GazetteHaiti 25 Apr. 2021). Listin Diario, a Spanish-language newspaper in the Dominican Republic, notes that in 45 days, 9,666 [translation] "undocumented Haitians" were arrested in the provinces of Valverde, Monte Cristi, Dajabón, and Santiago Rodríguez and returned to Haiti (Listin Diario 16 Oct. 2021).

According to AP, human smugglers charge US$260 "to illegally cross pregnant women and those with young children into the Dominican Republic" (AP 6 Dec. 2021). Dominican Today reports that "[c]osts vary"; according to an interview with a Haitian immigrant, "[i]f the woman is pregnant, human traffickers who operate on the Haitian border" charge 15,000 gourdes [US$220], however, "other women reported that if they enter with children, traffickers of undocumented persons apply higher rates" (Dominican Today 10 Dec. 2021).

Sources indicate that in February 2022, the Dominican Republic began construction of a wall along its border with Haiti (Belga News Agency 20 Feb. 2022; The Guardian 25 Feb. 2022; Reuters 20 Feb. 2022) to "reduce flows of migrants, drugs, weapons and contraband" (The Guardian 25 Feb. 2022). Sources report that 70 watchtowers are expected to be built along the wall (Reuters 20 Feb. 2022; The Guardian 25 Feb. 2022), "which will have fibre optics for communications, movement sensors, cameras, radars and drones" (The Guardian 25 Feb. 2022).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Note

[1] The report provides the following information about its methodology:

Observation of migratory flows and voluntary [r]egistration of migrants returning to Haiti: migratory flows observed of persons leaving and entering Haiti are recorded and migrant returns (spontaneous and/or forcible) are gathered through voluntary registration of migrants passing through each [border crossing point]. The registration data allows a profiling of the migrant population. (UN June 2021, 4)

References

Agence France-Presse (AFP). 3 November 2021. "Mooted Haiti-Dominican Border Wall Divides Opinion." [Accessed 11 July 2022]

Agencia EFE (EFE). 1 December 2021. María Montecelos. "Dominican Republic Deports Pregnant Haitian Women amid Border Crackdown." [Accessed 12 July 2022]

Agencia EFE (EFE). 1 December 2021. "Haitianas embarazadas son perseguidas y deportadas por República Dominicana." YouTube. [Accessed 12 July 2022]

Agencia EFE (EFE). 11 November 2021. "República Dominicana buscará activamente a los inmigrantes para registrarlos." [Accessed 13 July 2022]

Agencia EFE (EFE). 2 November 2021. "República Dominicana suspende programa de visados para estudiantes haitianos." [Accessed 17 Oct. 2022]

Agencia EFE (EFE). 19 February 2021. "R.Dominicana despliega 7.200 tropas en la frontera ante crisis en Haití." [Accessed 21 Oct. 2022]

Al Jazeera. 21 February 2022. "Dominican Republic Begins Building Border Wall with Haiti." [Accessed 11 July 2022]

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Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: adjunct lecturer at an American university who focuses on Latin American and Caribbean studies, race, ethnicity, class, and gender; Centre Tricontinental; Centro de Desarrollo Sostenible; Dominican Republic – Embassy in Haiti; Dominicana Solidaria; faculty fellow at an American university who focuses on political conditions, political instability, and presidential impeachment in Latin America; graduate student at an American university who conducts research on diverse and inclusive spaces and communities along the Haiti and Dominican border; Groupe d'appui aux rapatriés et refugiés; Haiti – Embassy in Dominican Republic; Haiti Support Group; Latin American Bureau; Latin American Studies Association Expert Witness Section; lawyer in the Dominican Republic; OBMICA; professor at an American university who focuses on Haitian and Mexican migration; professor at an American university who focuses on social policy issues and the politics of education and health reform in Latin America; professor at an American university who focuses on Latinx studies in global perspectives, race and ethnicity, migration, and human rights; professor of journalism at an American university who focuses on Latin American and transnational issues including immigration, healthcare, politics, and cross-border conflict and cooperation; research fellow at a university in the UK who focuses on the impact of social policy practices on questions of race, citizenship, and belonging; researcher who focuses on human development, migration, gender, human rights and statelessness; UN – International Organization for Migration offices in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Australia – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; BBC; Belgium – Commissariat général aux réfugiés et aux apatrides; Bertelsmann Stiftung; Brookings Institution; Caribbean National Weekly; Center for Strategic and International Studies; Centre tricontinental; Council on Foreign Relations; Dominican Republic – Dirección General de Migración, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Presidencia; EU – EU Agency for Asylum; Fédération internationale pour les droits humains; Freedom House; Global Detention Project – Global Immigration Detention Observatory; The Haitian Times; Human Rights Watch; InSight Crime; International Crisis Group; INTERPOL; Médecins sans frontières; Minority Rights Group International; The New Humanitarian; Norway – Landinfo; Organisation suisse d'aide aux réfugiés; Organization of American States – Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; Transparency International; UK – Home Office; UN – UNDP, UNHCR, UN Women, WHO; US – Department of State; Washington Office on Latin America; Wilson Center.