Local January 17, 2011 | 1:57 pm

Dominican Government answers Washington’s threat with repatriations (Update)

SANTO DOMINGO.- The authorities in the border town of Dajabon today affirmed having detained 1,221 undocumented Haitians since the start of January, 55 children among them, reportedly victims of people traffickers.

FILE. – Immigration Agency director Sigfrido Pared today rejected the United States threat of penalties over the country’s alleged inaction against the traffickers of Haitian children.

The official said he was surprised with the warnings by Luis CdeBaca, head of the US State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, that his country could penalize the country, on “frustration” with the Government’s alleged lack of commitment against the trafficking of Haitian children.

He said Washington’s rebuke comes while the country takes the necessary steps to reinforce the vigilance along the Dominican-Haiti border and to maintain the harmony between both nations.

Pared affirmed that repatriations will continue, respecting the rights of the undocumented immigrants, which also aims to halt the spread of cholera in Dominican territory. “We are in a process to respond before any eventuality that has to do with cholera.”

The Immigration said also revealed that he’ll meet Wednesday with the National Childhood Council and other similar entities to deal with the topic of the traffic of Haitian children into Dominican Republic, where many become vagrants and beggars on the streets where they remain until late at night, and that the minors taken from the streets will be taken to the shelters in Haina.

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