The Dominican Republic wants to build a border wall.It should learn from American mistakes

Throughout modern history, border walls have provided tremendous feed and coverings to authoritarian leaders around the world.

Their existence has only increased in recent years, USA Today Report There were 77 border walls in 2018, but only 15 in the world in 1989 when the Berlin Wall was demolished.

In this case, the numbers have no strength.Whether it or not Hungary’s new high-tech fence Along the Serbian border or the ironic name of Northern Ireland Peace wall, These structures caused more problems and increased division, discrimination and disillusionment.

As an advocate working to defend and protect the rights of immigrants and Haitian ancestors Dominicans in the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Republic has decided to build a 234-mile border fence to keep out Haitian migrants. As we are planning, we will provide the United States as the latest warning.

Dominican President Luis Abinader Explanation The move is an attempt to “end the serious problems of illegal immigrants, drug trafficking and the movement of stolen cars.”

Still, like Donald Trump Campaign promise The fact that the US-Mexico border wall “ends illegal immigrants and prevents drugs from flowing into our country” has a glossy luster intended to distract attention from the true purpose of this project. In both cases, political leaders have used explicit nationalism as a smoke and mirror tactic to conceal discriminatory practices based on race, economic situation, and country of origin.

Abinader describes this issue only for Haitian immigrants, but it also affects the Dominicans of their foreign ancestry.

Tensions between Haiti and the Dominican Republic have risen rapidly over the past year. Haiti’s worsening political stability And the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the economic and social situation of Haitian immigrants and Haitian Dominicans in the country. They are likely to work in the informal sector, the gray economy, and may be denied access to social programs and medical services restricted to Dominican citizens.

However, the root of the problem includes the Dominican Republic’s ongoing and targeted policies and the practice of denying citizenship and identification of Haiti’s descendants who have constitutional rights to citizenship. It’s been almost a century. Government officials have falsely claimed to resolve these issues. On the contrary, the century of Haiti workers’ migration to the Dominican Republic, which brings economic benefits to the host country, is “Necessary but unnecessary“syndrome.

For over a decade, our organization has worked with Dominican human rights activists, including the 2006 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award winner. Sonia PierreTo combat the denationalization of Haitian Dominicans and discriminatory policies against Haitian immigrants. Not only are these policies clearly in violation of international law, but also the ability of Haiti’s offspring to find stable employment, register children, access social services, get health insurance and attend college. It poses a daily obstacle for the Dominicans. They, and often their children, live a life of poverty and social exclusion.

Border fences are trying to turn the story of the Dominican government’s racist, alien exclusion policy towards its own people and neighbors into one of self-defense.

The international community cannot stand by. Instead of monitoring the fence surge, we need to dismantle the discriminatory system on which the fences are built and advocate legal means for the transition.

Respecting the rights of immigrants and their families and enacting policies that provide Dominican identification to the Dominican generation of Haiti’s offspring will greatly help alleviate the problem of injustice and injustice. .. The country should aim to address the gap in its obligations rather than hiding them behind the wall.

Bridget Wooding is the director of the Caribbean Immigration Observatory. Kacey Mordecai is an international advocacy and litigation lawyer for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.