Dominican Republic back to deporting Haitians
By EZEQUIEL ABIU LOPEZ
The Associated Press
Thursday, January 6, 2011; 5:06 PM
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — 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 anti-illegal immigration efforts 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.