Six-month grace period for Haitians residing illegally in Dominica

Minister for National Security, Immigration, and Labour, Charles Savarin, at this morning's press conference

Haitian nationals  residing in Dominica illegally have been given a six-month grace period to remain in the country.

This declaration was made by Minister for National Security Immigration and Labour Charles Savarin this morning at a press conference held at the Vat Unit located in the Financial Center.

The grace period will be extended to Haitians who may have entered the country without proper documentation, through illegal means, or whose stay may have expired.

During the six-month grace period they will not be prosecuted by the law for any immigration offence.

Savarin said this gesture will allow Haitians living in Dominica to get a chance to organize their travel and work documents.

“They should go to the authorities and have their stay extended for six months so as to allow time for the situation in Haiti to subside,” Savarin advised.

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  1. alexandria
    March 2, 2010

    my mistake i meant to spell (live) that’s why we vote for a Government we have the right to speak against this and make things turn around

  2. alexandria
    March 2, 2010

    it’s easy to just sit and talk, but i leave in the netherlands and compare to here they have it easy in Dominica, in St. maarten right now they have to register themselves as illegal they won’t get deported now but after a year the immigration is going to have your address and the obvious will happen. It’s not that the Government don’t want to help but it cost money and a lot of planning to cater for a disater that’s not on your budget.

  3. Social Justice
    January 16, 2010

    What nonsense! Have a heart my fellow Dominicans. Haiti and Haitians will need all of our support and six months is not going to erase the economic and social burden of Haitians in the Diaspora. Now is the time for our government and people to reach out to Haitians as true citizens of the world. Haitians should be given work permit and be better working conditions (in Dominica and around the Caribbean). We are quick to point scorn Haitians and treat them as lesser beings but don’t forget that many of our brothers and sisters are living in US and Canada as illegal immigrants while providing support for many of our parents and family members. With the exception of the criminals, they are often treated with respect and can maintain their dignity.

    Personally, I am looking forward to adopting a orphan(irrespective of his/her HIV Status). I will continue to support those others who are not so lucky in getting a home such as mine.

  4. noface
    January 15, 2010

    I don’t c anything wrong with what the minister said. They should stay in Da as long as they want. As long as they remain as law abiding people ,they should be citizenship. How much can a man bear?my heart goes out to every family in Haiti. Dominicans remember, we are a volcanic island.

    January 15, 2010

    Charlo next time let my PM go over this speech first before you embarrass my government. Let the hard core labour ministers talk out onbehalf of our PM and not the runaway Fredomites.(do not take it personal)

    Mr. PM we have to embrace them, me and me neighbor are willing to accomodate a few.

  6. January 15, 2010

    We are happy to have them here. They should even give them more time to set up themselves .. and can even become citizens. Haiti does not look like there will be any happiness for a very long time.

  7. Mina
    January 14, 2010

    It’s time for DNO to start banning allu /moderating allu comments for calling people idiot, fools, etc. That is nonsense now.

    As though name-calling is coming out of style on here – it’s becoming sickening right now. Express yourself; but, be respectful of other people’s opinion nuh – shucks man!

    Some of you may have good points; but, they get lost in the barrage of insults leveled at others. From the time I start to read, and I come across those disrespectful/insultive comments, I just lose taste to read further & move on….nextttttttttttttttttt

    I would maybe make an excuse and say lack of education; but arwar pal……bcuz even before I had a Masters Degree I did not partake in such crassness – I guess character is to be blamed?

    Let’s elevate the level of discourse on here nuh please – geeeeeeeeeeeeez…….Ppl type, read, read over, read over some more before hitting “submit comment” nuh souplais….challenge yourself to do better for your own sake & DNO please help them out too.

  8. Grandbayst thomas
    January 14, 2010

    Peace on earth! it could be us … let us get along…….They need amesty
    Let this disaster remind us how unpridictable life is ……….We are
    not incontrol let’s get along Peace

  9. abroad DA
    January 14, 2010

    Steve since you are so intelligent and have all the answers why dont you build the internation airport, you all are amazing, think before you speak this is a time to mourn for the lost of our fellow caribbean people and you all are backing politics out, no wonder no body in Dominica voted for your party.

  10. concerned
    January 14, 2010

    charlo you as Minister of national security and Immigrant you did what was best keep it up

  11. niceness
    January 14, 2010

    As the minister of National security and Immigation this is Mr. Savarin job to look at the situation in this way, he has to put Dominica first in any way, He is not condeming any Haitians in this article but extending a leaf of support so that if they are in our Country illegal they have some time to stay without hassel or persecution in their time of need, six months is a long time to get yourself together, So this is a great thing for the haitain people who are undocumented to be able to leave and possibly work to help there Country.

    To many time we Dominicans include politics in every decission that is made, even if charles was uwp or freedom his main purpose as the minister of National Security & Immigation is to do just what he is doing, extend time to the people who are here illegal in their time of need, where would they go back to anyway, good job Charlo

    And to those who talk about thats not what the haitain people need, they need food and money there is another minister who is responible for this.

  12. bay front
    January 14, 2010

    allu just chatting …. give dem ppl an amnesty!

  13. Caribbean Unity-Free Movement
    January 14, 2010

    Good first step.I say we open our doors wide to our Caribbean brothers and sisters in need!

  14. January 14, 2010

    Sad that we take this statement as an issue.All i can say is mine in front yours behind.God bless…..

  15. max
    January 14, 2010

    Charles Savarin is an idiot. At a time when the whole world is reponding to Hait he hold shis stupid press conference. to tell Haitians to get theri house in order. He is sososo stupid and self important—shame on him. I want to vomit!!!!!!

  16. Stanleyhaitiboy
    January 14, 2010

    steve is an idiot period…….

  17. super fierce
    January 14, 2010

    To oh-oh we all read what it said ” grace period 6 months” not no dam amnesty. Giving haitians a y month grace period to extend their stay is nothin like an amnesty it clearly said in the article it will give them time to organize their work and travel, and should extend their stay until the issue in haiti has subsided. Plain english……if they can’t get their work and travel documents sort out what’s gonna happen then. Even the u.s has suspended deportations to haiti becuz of this. But this fool just had to. Open his mouth at a time like this…..

  18. Vee
    January 14, 2010

    Some of you people sound so foolish. Nothing is wrong with what Savarin is doing. He is basically trying to comfort the Hatians so that they don’t have to be fearful or continue to hide. It’s a very warm gesture and Im sure the period would be extended if the situation is still bad. I dont think he meant any harm. We need to get all this NEGATIVITY out of our system. My heart goes out to all the Hatians.

  19. steve
    January 14, 2010

    Savarin and the Government should be talking about sending Aid to Haiti he talking and playing some boy scout role and claiming he giving them a grace period. Is this taking us to the next level as they claim? Savarin well done Brussels clown.

  20. precious stones
    January 14, 2010


    I douth you are what you say you are. If you were so positive you would think better than to say Steve is a Idiotic UWP supporter. Why should politic come into this, i guess it’s because you eat sleep and breath politic. Steve might well be a Idiotic LABOUR right SUPPORTER you never know. Please leave politic out of this situation. what we need to be doing right now is say a prayer for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

  21. come again
    January 14, 2010

    some people so stupid and love to mislead others. if you in a counctry illigal and u getting 6 months to be in the open without hiding from immigration, what else sweeter than that. in 6 month u can get ur self proper ducument to stay in the country, by what every means, be it maried. come on men

  22. Shana
    January 14, 2010

    How insensitive is that, charlo couldn’t hav made this statement at a worst time. Magway sah !!

  23. Me
    January 14, 2010

    Doesn’t this man have any soul…heart…consideration. These people are human beings and given the situation…all due respect Sir…now is NOT the time to be talking about grace period. Where are you sending them? For what documents? You mean you all didn’t know about Haitians residing in Dominica illegally for how long now? Come on, you should be ashamed and I am ashamed that you are even thinking about that right now while the people’s country is in a STATE OF EMERGENCY. Presence of mind dude..presence of mind. Poor people worrying about their family members and you bringing this….chupes!

    Peace and Love to the ppl of Haiti

  24. Just giving my 2 cents
    January 14, 2010

    Gosh… Dominicans are fast to condemn… i am sure that the 6 month period is just to get the undocumented immigrants the chance to come forward wit fear of being deported or jail. I do not believe that anyon ein their right minds would even consider sending the undocumented Haitians back to Haiti … if the Government would be so stupid as to even contemplate such an action- then i’m sorry for Dominca. But i do have faith in the Dominican people and the Dominican government. I am sure that this 6months is just a comfort thing for the scared Haitians. And if by GOD the government goes as far as to suggest to the Dominican people that the undocumented Haitians should be deported in 6 months – then Dominicans- wake up and smell the coffee- this is not a government of the people, for the people.

    I hope that the government extends an invitation so that Haitians who have family in Dominica can be accepted easily into the country… nothing can be worse for them right now than getting assistance and gettign out.

    I urge my fellow Domincans to donate- even if it’s $1… it will help… if everyone donates $1 then at least – 1 Haitian in Haiti- might be a little bit better off.

    And to the person who claims that Haiti is better off than Dominica…i’ll just laugh at you ignorance becaus eyou do not know anything. And to the Dominicans who think that Dominicans living at home have it hard…please Dominicans living in Dominica…appreciate all that you have because it’s easier for you to ask your neighbours down there than it is to get anything free over here….i’m just saying

    I also agree with the individaul who says that some persons living abroad do not have it as good as Dominicans living at home – some people would be much better off in Dominica than in these foreighn countries – but for a bit of materialistic things- they’d rather suffer and live underground than go home to a country where they are free and are treated as EQUAL human beings.

    So i say to the locals, do not under no circumstances envy theose that live in foreign. Even though i may be living comfortable here… i’d much rather be back in Dominica because i know for sure, not matter even if i get a coupe yeux … it’s not with no real hatred… but over here- one never knows what’s behind anyone else.

    Be thankful!

  25. sassy
    January 14, 2010

    LMAO! boi charlo all you ppl ……of all time the gov’t have to talk about that is now……… with wat these ppl’s country is going through right now…..stupes ***non-sense.

  26. Oh OH!!!
    January 14, 2010

    Steve is an idiot am not wasting time to argue with him, noiw those persons who don’t understand the message let me explain to you:

    “The grace period will be extended to Haitians who may have entered the country without proper documentation, through illegal means, or whose stay may have expired.”

    and point # 2 “Savarin said this gesture will allow Haitians living in Dominica to get a chance to organize their travel and work documents.”

    What this is simply saying for those who really don’t understand what they read – Haitians who were ILLEGAL in Dominica can now REGULARIZE THEMSELVES this is equivalent to the AMNESTY that is given to ILLEGAL MIGRANTS in America from time to time.

    So stop bashing Saverin and to WONDER this was a CABINET DECISION not a Charles Saverin thing so all MINISTERS is aware of it including SKERRIT.

    Lets raise our bar emotion or not!!!!!

  27. Shakier Scotland
    January 14, 2010

    While our immigrations laws need to toughen up a bit ……. a 6 months grace period is not enough ……. cut them a bit of slack .

    Steve some of you always there to put your 2 cents in everything , to come across as intelligent .. but you sound like a real fool , some of you on here just piss me off with the nonsense you say .

    Because a country has a international airport that makes them better of than us ?

    Tell me how many mothers in Dominica feed there kids mud cake , just so that they would not go hungry ……. yes MUD ( like dirt) .

    Do your freaking homework !!!

  28. Concerned Citizen
    January 14, 2010

    I must start off by offering my heartfelt condolences to the familes and friends of person in Haiti. I have a close friend here from Haiti who is hurting because he hasn’t heard word about his Family. I can only imagine the pain. God is merciful and his hands are stretched over the land of Haiti.

    I must applaud the Government of Dominica in this venture; it shows that there is still compassion out there for the less fortunate. While many are criticizing this move, let us sit back and look at the situation, which is worse 6 months or no time offered? No one is suggesting that in 6 months the country will rebuild, it will take years before that happens. After the 6 months is up the government will always reassess the situation in haiti and make another decision based on that.

    Let’s not forget the main issue here which is to help bring immediate relief to the persons…lets focus on that and not be side tracked!

  29. Prophet2
    January 14, 2010

    Black people is the only race who has not yet known how to fully unite and I think the OECS unity was the greatest feat in the last millenia.

    France has suspended deportation to Haiti indefinetly and their majority isn’t even black, shame on our race. Others will always look down on us because we can’t unite and since we can’t unite then we can’t achieve much.

    To delay sending someone to hell is no different than sending him/her right now, hell is hell.

  30. positivedominican
    January 14, 2010

    Steve, You Ahole. must be an idiotic UWP supporter to talk this level of …. G put your head back in the toilet pit from whence you came!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. straight facts
    January 14, 2010

    He had to come out to make the policy of the government formal so some hot headed cops don’t go on and execute their orders to deport people who are in the country illegally. I believe in 6 months they will review the status and see if and how more can be done. Also Steve, just to get your facts straight Min landing distance at max landing weight for a c-130 is 2020 ft . and takeoff distance is 3,586 ft at full weight . DCF is 2500 ft and DOM is 5100 ft .

    January 14, 2010

    Steve… whatever you are, boss you’re a real idiot.. Boy you sound so …stupid right now I’d use u as toilet paper… **. talking about haiti better than dominica. In dominica, we have food to eat, we have jobs.. (Not as much as we’d like to), we have good building and homes…(2004 quakes didnt knock dem down).
    What good is 2 international airports doing for starving people of haiti..?? tell me??
    Dominica needed to get better air access, you all getting it right now and you’re still bitching about it.
    the same way people like you would pretend like everywhere in the US is paved in streets of gold when in truth certain slums are worse than u’ll ever see in dominica.. is people like you who dis dominica but we can find you in living in someone basement in new york city…. so much for progress

    GOD BLESS DOMINICA…. Dominicans all over, count our blessings!!!!!

    January 14, 2010


  34. WONDER
    January 14, 2010

    I wonder if the PM knows what charlo just said. i think u need to pull this out very fast out of the news. because too me u not making any sense.where on earth are u gonna send these people. it hurts that what dominica is giving haitian just like us . I MEAN COME ON. am hurting am embrass by that idiot statement u made on the news. haiti won’t be ready for people not under 6 years sir charlo. please allow the PM to proof read ur stories before u put them out. if the pm did wel well

  35. Thoughtful
    January 14, 2010

    I find it backward thinking when people think that an international airport is the answer to Dominica’s economic problems.

    Haiti has two, and they are worse off than we are; a direct contradiction of Steve’s call for one. If Steve think that Dominica is not better off than Haiti, I guess he has never been there. I have, and trust me, Dominica is way better.

    I do agree that an international airport is helpful, but it won’t be an answer to our problems. Right now Dominica don’t have the infrastructure in place to handle an international airport. Maybe that is what the government should concentrate on doing: developing our infrastructure.

    I think its a good move by our government in a time like this.

  36. precious stones
    January 14, 2010

    Six months my foot, give the people a break after the six months is over where are you going to send them. You should be ashame to let the world read that DOMINICA is giving Haitians six month to saty in the country knowing there situation, those that are living here you should make sure they have the proper documents to remain in the country. Mr Savarin let me remind you that DOMINICANS are residing all over the world illegal. Would you like to see or hear that happen to your people? This is a time for helping those people so they can help out there families and friends back in Haiti. Let DOMINICA be an example so other CARIBBEAN ISLANDS CAN FOLLOW. HELP HELP HELP YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS Mr. Savarin so God can bless our NATION.

  37. Sheldon
    January 14, 2010

    Steve, get ur facts together, Dominica is better of than Haiti. Your economical status is not dependant on weather or not you have an international airport. They have two and still remain the poorest nation in the western hemisphere.

    I think we should do more than give them 6 months grace period. These ppl are opening up businesses and adding to the growth of the economy, however small it may be. If they commit crimes and I do mean crimes, like murder, theft, and the like then I can see they being penalised. But i am hoping that in the 6months that you are giving Mr. Savarin you really look at the input some of these ppl give to our Country and grant them the necessary papers. Returning to Haiti may not be an option at this point.

  38. weh weh charlo
    January 14, 2010

    Weh weh charlo , when the six month is up where u gonna send them people? maybe u don’t have T V at ur home or office for u to see the mess this place is in. instead of u telling them people they can stay here and hold a meetting to talk to them and embrace them u wanna give them time to stay here come on charlo, if it was for a vote u would make them stay 10 years. free on the haitian so they can work to send back some money to there people in need. come on think agian. am a shame of u all people. good bless haiti

  39. steve
    January 14, 2010

    The haitians that a coming to Dominica need a compass they are heading in the wrong direction. Dominica is not better off than Haiti. This Country has 2 international Airports. How manny C130 military Airplanes can land in Dominica. If this was Dominica we all would have been dead. Charles we need an international airport and we need one now.

  40. met veye
    January 14, 2010

    Grace period????????????what are they going back to haiti to do??? come on….are we seeing the same grim images?

  41. boomer
    January 14, 2010

    6 months shuepppsssss try helping the ppl why give them a dam timeline so many dam Dominicans living abroad illegally just help the bam ppl eh and charles severin just shut up

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