The Dominican Republic began building a wall to cover up to half of its 244-mile border with Haiti, reported Al Jazeera. President Luis Abinader claims it is an effort to put an end to irregular migration and the smuggling of weapons and drugs.
Though neighboring countries, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are in two different economic atmospheres. That’s one of the reasons why Haitians have been migrating to the Dominican Republic but also because of the recent uptick in violence.
From Al Jazeera:
The development comes amid a worsening political and economic situation in Haiti in the aftermath of the assassination of President Jovenel Moise last July. Amid a rise in gang violence and political deadlock over the holding of elections, many Haitians have been crossing the border into the Dominican Republic without documentation in search of work in agriculture or in the construction industry.
Haitians have also been migrating to the US through Mexico or Florida. However, as Al Jazeera reported, nearly 15,000 Haitians seeking asylum in the US were deported last Fall. These included people who had just arrived at the US-Mexican border and those who hadn’t been in Haiti for years. Mexico has also been reported to deport Haitians as well, reporting 200 to be sent back, according to Reuters.
In an immigration survey, half a million Haitians and thousands of their descendants live in the Dominican Republic, reported U.S. News & World Report.
Approaching the anniversary of Dominican Republic’s independence form Haiti, Feb 27, Abinader set off the construction of the wall and projected the first phase be done within nine months, reported U.S. News. The wall will also have watchtowers and gates for patrolling.
Well, doesn’t this story sound familiar?