Over 100 Undocumented Haitians Arrested in Dominican Republic
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) | Members of the Dominican Republic security forces have detained more than 100 undocumented Haitians, including pregnant women and children, during several exercises over a 72-hour period. The authorities said that the 10th Battalion of the Dominican Army had apprehended on Dominican territory 108 undocumented Haitians, including 16 minors and 15 pregnant women. They said that in the community of Palo Blanco de Dajabón, adjacent to Haiti, the largest number of pregnant women, and minors accompanied by their parents, were arrested.
Some of the women were reported as saying that they had intended to give birth in hospitals in the Dominican Republic, because in Haiti in addition to the limitations of access to health care, they have to pay for maternity services. The military authorities said that since the children and adolescents were accompanied by their parents or other relatives, they will be returned together to Haiti.
They said members of the army accompanied by a representative of the public prosecutor’s office and immigration agents detained 38 undocumented Haitians who were found hiding on a private property near the Hospital Matías Ramón Mella in Dajabón. They said the illegal migrants, who had intended to travel to Santiago, Valverde and Puerto Plata, had paid between 4,000 and 5,000 pesos (One peso=US$0.02 cents) to smugglers to drive them to their destination.
They also admitted to paying other smugglers in Haiti the equivalent of 5,000 to 7,000 pesos to transport them and illegally cross the border. The military said that all the Haitians who were arrested have now been handed over to the immigration service that will be responsible after identification for their deportation.