Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dominican lawmaker slams the UNDP report on Haitian immigrants

SANTO DOMINGO. - The deputy Pelegrin Castillo said Thursday that the report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on the living conditions of Haitian immigrants in the country forms part of the disinformation campaign to again downplay the magnitude of the drama he affirms the Haitian people suffer.

The legislator denied that the Haitians are mistreated in the country, and noted that immigrants don’t get the best treatment nowhere in the world. “Let’s be clear, if there is a point in the world where Haitian immigrants have the best conditions is in Dominican Republic, considering our nation’s reality.”

He said the study isn’t credible because it places the Haitian immigrant population at only around 600,000 in the country, when in fact that figure was of 10 years ago, and the current number is as high as 1.5 million, mainly after the January 12 quake.

Interviewed in the National Palace, Castillo also warned that the country will have to confront an offensive against its credibility and image, because despite what he sees as being the most integrating, open and tolerant nation, the criticisms and harassment continue.

The lawmaker called the international community’s commitment with Haiti not serious, insincere, inconsistent and manipulative. “The United Nations knows perfectly well that Haiti’s tragedy is the fact that it was a collapsed State before January 12, when the earthquake occurred,” a calamity he said is being turned into a great business instead of a humanitarian effort.

“I had imagined that the United States, which is directing that campaign, was going to designate the Navy Corp of engineers for the reconstruction task,” he said.

The legislator for the National District (FNP party) said given the circumstances the Government must energetically bolster its border control policy. “The Dominican government should’ve demanded the international community’s guarantee of our territorial integrity a long time ago, because they know the magnitude of Haiti’s crisis and the dramatic deterioration of its reality.”

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