LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Seeking answers

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!

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15 Comments

  1. don2fresh
    January 9, 2019

    Kudos to my Haitian brethren took time, sat, wrote a letter, and submitted it to the office of DNO, got it posted here but could not take time or couldn’t have been directed to the Immigration Department, Ministry of Justice and Immigration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CARICOM or any other Ministerial Offices that would give my fellow Haitian Brethren some advise on where to go and whom to speak with in regards to this matter. Hoping advise was given to inform that this was not proper protocol because a customs officer does not have any right to deny anyone entry into the land and that is done only by an immigration officer and as per the new regulations as well as combining it with those of CARICOM can only be denied if suspected with entering into the country to break a law and the matter was directed accordingly so this could be solved.

    • observer
      January 9, 2019

      don2fresh, you cannot say it better than that. I think our authorities need to give some attention to that matter. We are not an isolate country so we have to take time to do things properly.
      God bless!

  2. BEB
    January 8, 2019

    He should have gone to the Immigration Officer to enquire about his friend, not the Custom’s Officer, who can discuss things to declare and duties to be paid on stuffs brought in

    • observer
      January 9, 2019

      I totally agree but it was totally impossible to see anyone neither to access any immigration office. I think we need to do better than that. God bless

  3. zandoli
    January 8, 2019

    I don’t know why so many Dominicans have a hard-on for Haitians. I remember a few years ago I was in Dominica and this Haitian guy was pumping gas for a Dominican motorist. Suddenly the Dominican started to abuse the Haitian, swearing at him for absolutely no reason. I even thought the Dominican guy was crazy.

    After he left, I asked a bystander why he was behaving in that manner (not knowing any of the two people), and he told me it was simply because the gas station attendant was Haitian.

    Incredible!

  4. MeeNiMe
    January 8, 2019

    Dominica Immigration Officers are the ones who make the decision as to whether a person entering the country meet the entry requirements.
    This is NOT and has never been the responsibility of the Dominica Customs.
    Just clarifying.

  5. Child of Itassi
    January 8, 2019

    Be patient.

    To the misguided Dominicans in authority, please take note:
    One who causes others misfortune also teaches them wisdom – African proverb

    • Pipo
      January 8, 2019

      Is that why our mother continent is in such a mess then?

      • Child of Itassi
        January 8, 2019

        It depends on what you mean by “a mess”.
        By comparison, the rest of the world is no better than Africa.

        Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt always glorify the hunter.

  6. FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY
    January 8, 2019

    Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!

    Join the club for being a victim of ‘square peg/round hole’ syndrome in Dominica.

    Only one solution…. a change of Government!!!

  7. Mani Cou
    January 8, 2019

    There are more Dominicans living in other people’s country that in Dominica. How would they like to be treated by those countries as they are treating Haitians? Even those living in Dominica benefit from Dominicans working in other people’s country. Have a heart, treat the hard working Haitians right, those that do not adhere to the law treat them as any other person who breaks the law.

  8. Ibo France
    January 8, 2019

    We are our worst own enemies. Imagine Haiti is a member of CARICOM and its citizens have to produce a visa on entering most CARICOM countries. The civil service in Dominica leaves much to be desired. The system is dysfunctional and the employees mostly unprofessional. Too many untrained political appointees in positions that they are ill-suited for. The entire public service needs revamping.

    • Not A Herd Follower
      January 9, 2019

      totally agree with you on the public service

  9. zandoli
    January 8, 2019

    I am not sure that will be of much help except to say that many Dominicans have approached politicians and bureaucrats with great ideas that could be helpful to Dominica and more often than not are stonewalled by shear incompetence.

    Good luck to you brother.

    • Joseph John
      January 8, 2019

      So DNO, can you investigate this issue and offer some ideas. I do not think that government policies are being executed in diligent practice. Maybe you as a news outlet can help to reduce the delay between policy and practice. Or at least create an awareness of this element in good governance.

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