IOM Joins Session on Dominican Republic’s National Plan for Regularization of Foreigners
Dominican Republic - IOM Dominican Republic Chief of Mission Cy Winter joined a workshop held in Santiago in the Dominican Republic this month to discuss the country’s progress towards completing its National Plan to Regularize Foreigners and to consider the state of irregular migration in Cibao district. IOM also attended meetings held in the cities of Azua, Puerto Plata, Samaná, Barahona, Monte Plata and San Juan de la Maguana.
Following Presidential Decree 327-13 concerning the National Plan to Regularize Foreigners in Conditions of Irregular Migration, IOM signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Interior and Police to bring together the work of technical specialists, administrators and funding agencies to contribute to orderly and humane migration management in the Dominican Republic.
This will result in programs that will facilitate the regularization of migrants in an irregular situation, including temporary workers, taking into account the needs and concerns of local communities, while offering assistance to vulnerable migrants, including advice on how to acquire documents and legalize their status.
Noting claims in some local media that Haitians’ lack of legal documents is an obstacle to introducing the National Plan, Winter noted: “It is very important to recognize that the Migration Law and its regulations allow identification of any migrant to be not just through national identity documents, but also allows Dominican officials to retain the capacity to check and register individuals against a biometric register.”
“This is a widely used practice for managing migration and is an essential part of balancing the human rights of individuals with national security concerns. IOM regards the biometric registry as the most important aspect of its support for the National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners and applauds the teams that have managed to register more than 70,000 people in just four months.”
As part of the meeting in Santiago, the IOM Mission in the Dominican Republic collaborated with civil society organizations that are helping Haitian migrants to benefit from the National Plan. The NGOs help migrants meet additional costs, such as paying notaries to prepare documents.
At least 2,500 Haitian migrants in the districts of San Cristóbal, Barahona, Mao, La Altagracia, La Romana and El Seybo were assisted between July and September 2014. Around 4,000 people were also contacted to inform them of the requirements of the National Plan.
Since 2011 the IOM Mission in the Dominican Republic has contributed to the protection and assistance of vulnerable Haitian migrants by offering durable migration solutions and providing technical assistance to the Dominican government in matters concerning temporary Haitian workers. In 2015 IOM will continue its support of the Dominican Republic’s National Plan for Regularization of Foreigners.
For more information please contact
Tel: +1 809 688 81 74
Alicia Sangro Blasco
IOM Santo Domingo
Tel: 1 809 688 81 74 x 224