The Dominican government has not received “neither before nor after” evidence to justify the immigration alert launched by the US Department of State last November, stated the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, Roberto Álvarez, in a verbal note sent to his US counterpart, Antony Blinken, a letter that at least four US representatives would have also received.
“A relationship of friendship established for so many years… deserves higher levels of reciprocal trust”Minister of Foreign Affairs
In the letter dated April 4, Álvarez refers to Blinken’s appearance before the Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Representatives on March 23, in which he was questioned by the Republican representative for Florida, María Elvira Salazar, for “the reckless migration alert imposed on the Dominican Republic.”
“Consequently, the lightness with which said alert was published continues to amaze and worry us, without repairing the damage caused and its consequent effect on relations between our countries. According to information provided by the Ministry of Tourism, between November 19, 2022 (date the alert was issued), and December 31, 2022 (42 days), the estimated effective trip cancellations received were 34,104, the bulk of which can be attributed to said alert,” the letter says.
The office of the New York congressman, the Dominican Adriano Espaillat, confirmed that the representative received a copy of the letter and stated that “we are confident that in the coming days there will be a change regarding the situation of the alert.”
The congressman has demanded that the US authorities not only lift the alert, but that it be amended with positive comments that favor the Dominican Republic. They hope, equally, that this will come true in the future.
In November, the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic alerted US citizens of African-American origin to the increase in operations by the General Directorate of Migration (DGM).
The diplomatic mission said in a statement that the actions may lead to “increased interaction” with Dominican authorities, especially for darker-skinned Americans and those of African descent.
The statement said that the General Directorate of Migration was carrying out widespread operations aimed at detaining those they believe to be undocumented immigrants, especially people of Haitian descent.
Regarding operations to detain Haitian illegals, the US Embassy said reports indicate that detainees are held in overcrowded detention centers, without the ability to challenge their detention and without access to food or toilets, sometimes for days, before being released or deported to Haiti.
In response to these accusations, the communication sent by Mirex indicates that “although there is no racist public policy in the country, we have recognized the limitations that have historically negatively impacted the institutions that manage migration policy, hence, at the end of the year In the past, we informed the then charge d’affaires, ai, of the United States embassy, Robert W. Thomas, of the following measures: renovation of the Haina immigration detention center, and the construction of new facilities in the province of Santiago; acquisition of new vehicles for the transport of migrants subject to interdiction; progress in the drafting of a normative regulation of repatriation, based on the Protocol of Understanding on the Repatriation Mechanisms between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, of 1999, which guarantees the due process of law established by the Dominican Constitution”.
On Wednesday, the number two of the State Department, Wendy Sherman, a diplomat who since April 2021 has served as Assistant Secretary of State of the United States, will arrive in the country. Although the reason for the trip is not directly related to the alert, it is presumed that the subject will come up. A panel is scheduled to be held at the National Palace, requested by the North American delegation, to address issues of common interest, which is interpreted as another sign of the good moment in bilateral relations, in which the Alert issued continues to be a startling anomaly. The Alert has been in force since last November and the country still has not received clear details of its motivations or specific cases that support it.
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