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Minister of Defense says border is under control

Minister of Defense Lieutenant General Ruben Darío Paulino Sem says that the security and people smuggling at the border with Haiti is under control. In a press conference on Monday, 10 July 2017, he said the Ministry is working in coordination with the Migration Agency (DGM), the Dominican Army and the Specialized Border Security Corps (Cesfront) and has impeded the irregular entry of 140,000 undocumented Haitians in the first half of the year. The Ministry said that Cesfront has 1,000 men stationed on the border.

Paulino says media reports and several videos of undocumented Haitians entering the country is part of a campaign to discredit the government. He said the videos circulating recently in social media are many years old.

Paulino pointed out that from August 2016 to July 2017, the Ministry has seized 120,000 pounds of garlic, 15.7 million units of cigarettes, 76,000 bottles of alcoholic beverages, 9,000 charcoal sacks and 1.1 million bouillon cubes.

The media has carried several editorials and op-ed contributions on the Haitian immigration. An editorial in El Día, titled “The Spine-Chilling Statistics of the Minister of Defense”, focuses on the pressure exercised by would-be Haitian immigrants at the Haitian-Dominican border.

Matías Bosch writes in El Día that the 2011 budget of the security service at the Santo Domingo Metro (CESM) was RD$109 million, while the government allotted only RD$77 million to the border security force (CESFRONT). By 2015, the CESM budget was still higher than that of CESFRONT, and was only 1.15% of the budget of the Ministry of Defense. Bosch also highlights that farm wages and construction wages are low even by Dominican standards as these jobs are filled by the flow of undocumented workers. “All seems to indicate that what yields the most for our politicians is to work very little to change the institutional, social and labor situation of the country to impede a migratory crisis,” writes the author.

An editorial in Diario Libre highlights that long time ago, Dominicans changed working in farms and construction jobs for motorcycle taxis and informal services. “What is unpardonable is that we have fallen into the trap of not applying the law to immigrants, of not obliging these to observe orderly conduct and follow basic rules of citizen behavior, that is we have not enforced civilization values and the universal value of respect for what is our own,” writes the editorialist.

“We are clear. It is not the fault of the Haitians that our soldiers at the border are corrupt; that Dominican employers prefer Haitian labor for reasons that be and that our law and order agents do not dare impose the law to beggars and troublemakers on the streets,” reads the editorial. “Amidst these attitudes, it is not strange that there be an increase in crime on behalf of Haitians to ourselves,” the editorialist continues. The writer concludes: “Also, we knew that Donald Trump was going to close doors, so was it so difficult to think where these people were going to head? Let us note our own blames before accusing others.”…rontera/332897

Source: DR1, Almomento

July 11, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated December 17, 2017 at 1:23 AM
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