Minister for National Security and Home Affairs, Rayburn Blackmoore, is not ruling out the repatriation of undocumented Haitian nationals in Dominica as a means of curbing the illegal departure by some of these immigrants from the country.
Many Haitians are said to be leaving the country illegally and just last week, Prime Minister Skerrit appealed to the Haitian community in Dominica to help the government eliminate that practice.
Calling on all Haitian nationals in Dominica to respect the laws of the country, Blackmore made it clear at a press conference earlier this week, that as the minister responsible for National Security and Home Affairs, he is “not going to stand nonsense!”
“And I am not ruling out having the police rounding up all undocumented Haitian nationals to have them returned to their country as soon as possible,” he warned.
“We see them as our brothers and sisters and we think it is a human thing to embrace our brothers and sisters who are seeking a better way of life,” the minister stated. “We have given a number of Haitian nationals citizenship, permanent residency as well as work permits so that they can live dignified lives in our country.”
However, he said that in the recent past, a number of Haitian nationals along with Dominican captains, have been arrested in some neighbouring islands illegally entering those countries by boat from Dominica.
“The government of Dominica has a fundamental duty to our national and regional safety and security,” Blackmore pointed out.
The minister is also sending a stern warning to the Dominicans who illegally transport departing Haitian nationals.
“To the Dominicans who aid and abet by illegally transporting the poor Haitian nationals, you are equally responsible culpable under the law and you should be ashamed of yourself,” he remarked. “You are not only risking the lives of the poor Haitian people who are seeking a better way of life, you are also compromising and risking the safety of the Dominican people and that is totally unacceptable.”.
Blackmore called on the police to use all necessary means and measures to apprehend all offenders and urged all the law-abiding Haitians residing in Dominica, to work with the police and his ministry to put an end to “this madness.”
Meanwhile, Police Chief, Daniel Carbon, is seeking the assistance of the Dominican public to stop this illegal practice.
“We have a lot of so-called fishermen [with] boats and engines, and so we have a lot of pirates in that regard. We need the intelligence in real-time,” he said.
Carbon appealed to people in the communities to “give us the intelligence when the boats are leaving, we have our own intelligence, but provide us with more intelligence because we are committed in fighting the cause.”
Just last week, a group of Haitian youths who call themselves Young Haitians Focus Group requested a discussion with Prime Minister Skerrit and offered to help him and his government to address the issue.