Local January 31, 2015 | 1:37 am

Thousands of Dominican-born Haitians at risk of expulsion from DR

Santo Domingo.– Tens of thousands of Dominican-born Haitians are at risk of being expelled from the Dominican Republic with the approach of a Feb. 1 deadline to apply for naturalization, Amnesty International warned Friday.

According to Efe news agency, AI’s Americas program director Erika Guevara Rosas said in a statement that when the deadline expires at midnight "the hopes of tens of thousands of vulnerable people will collapse. Thousands of people will run the risk of being expelled from the country."

"And even if those people do manage to stay in the Dominican Republic beyond Feb. 1, their future will be terribly uncertain," Guevara said quoted by Efe.

The AI’s America program director pointed out that it is time to put an end to this crisis. "When the vast majority of these people were born, the then-applicable Dominican law recognized them as citizens. The deprivation of that right, and the creation of insurmountable administrative obstacles to be able to remain in the country, constitute a violation of their human rights," she stressed.

Interior and Police Deputy minister Washington Gonzalez told Efe that a total of 6,937 people born in the country to undocumented-immigrant parents have applied for naturalization. He also said the deadline for applications will not be extended.

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