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  HOME | Caribbean

Dominican Republic Urged to Legalize Undocumented Immigrants

PARIS – The Dominican Republic’s National Migration Institute, or INM, a department of the Interior Ministry, called on the government Monday to promote legal stability for immigrants in the country – most of whom are Haitians – so they can contribute to the economy.

“We have to develop the tools so that the status of people benefiting from the National Plan for the Legalization of Foreigners (PNRE) remains stable, so they can contribute to the nation’s productive and social system as agents of development,” INM director Florinda Rojas told EFE.

Rojas, who was in Paris to attend a seminar of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, reviewed the challenges her country faces on the immigration front.

Citing figures from the 1st National Immigrant Survey (ENI-2012), she said that living in the Dominican Republic are 524,632 foreigners (5.4 percent of the total population), of whom 87.3 percent are from next-door neighbor Haiti, the former French colony forever devastated by poverty and natural disasters.

“One of the most important challenges is to establish a balance between rights and practice...If we have good legislation that protects basic rights...we have to make sure it is enforced,” Rojas said, while assuring that the “political will” exists in the government to “make progress” with regard to these challenges.

 

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