Dear Sir / Madam,
I am a Haitian national by birth and a Dominican citizen by naturalization and I have been persistently living in Dominica for almost 15 years now.
I have a serious concern that I would really like to get an answer for but I don’t know where to go to get it.
For the past years that I have integrated [into] the Dominican society, I own a small business and the business has been struggling for lack of employees. I have advertised vacancies for a number of times but I never got the opportunity to get at least one employee that can do the job which has caused me to look for a Haitian professional from Haiti.
At the time, Haitians required a visa to enter the Island when I formally applied to get a visa for the prospective employee but unfortunately the application was not successful. I had absolutely no problem with that and I was in the process of waiting for 6 months to reapply.
While waiting for the 6 months, it was announced on the state’s radio that visa for Haitians wishing to enter Dominica was waved effective October 1, 2018. I was so happy that I no longer had to go through the long visa process and I could finally get him here to work in the business.
I made it a point of duty to go to the Ministry of National Security to get the list of requirements before I even contacted the prospective employee. All was put in order for his trip.
Surprisingly, on Saturday 5 January 2019 when the guy came to Dominica passing through Dominican Republic, I was at the Douglas-Charles airport even before the plane landed to welcome him. I waited over 2 hours and only one girl from Haiti had the opportunity to pass through customs as her father who lives in Dominica for the past 6 years had applied for her and he was there to welcome her.
I attempted to contact the customs office or any relevant person at the time but I was told that everybody was busy and could not hear me.
Finally, after they sent back everybody I got the awesome privilege to ask a question to a customs officer. When I approached him, he asked what I wanted to know and I briefly told him about the guy and his response was: “none of them meets the entry requirements, are you satisfy?” I answered by saying no officer, I am not and wanted to know if there are new requirements and while speaking with him he turned his back and said : “Go Roseau”.
I am now very concerned and confused at the same time as I don’t know where exactly in Roseau I have to go to in order to get a response to that matter.
I understand that the authorities have a legal right to control the movement of people entering and leaving the island, but at the same time I believe also the following:
- I believe in nation building, people should not be treated like the office did and furthermore, in [the] 21st century, information should be made available to everyone.
- I believe it doesn’t make any sense that Haitians spend so much money out of their poverty to travel to Dominica and they cannot get through and cannot even know the reason why.
- I believe if Haitians are no longer allowed to travel with or without visa to Dominica it should of public knowledge.
- I also believe that the Haitian people deserve better than that and not that type of treatment because whether you like it or not we are one Caribbean people.
- I believe if it was the other way around the Dominicans would have felt humiliated [by] other Caribbean nations.
- I believe there is no greater nation but there are nations of the earth.
- I believe in spite of what anybody may think, the Haitians remain hard working people and they do all kind of work including the work the native will never do for the country’s benefit.
- I believe Haitians have significantly contributed to the Dominican economy especially in the Agricultural sector.
If anyone can help, I would be more than happy because right now I don’t [know] where t turn to to get the relevant information.
God bless you guys!
God bless and protect the beautiful Dominica!