Regularization, Migrants and Nationality: Terms Being Confused

Ramón Tejada Holguín

The following aim to inform the several international organizations and individuals working on the issue of human rights and are speaking about the Dominican immigration policy, some of which may not be aware of the characteristics and implications of the National Plan of Regularization of Foreigners ( PNRE, by its Spanish acronym ). One common error is to confuse this plan with the process of the Act 169-14, which establishes a special regime for people born in the country whose parents are both illegal immigrants but were registered in the Dominican Civil Registry and on naturalization.

The Act provides: 

A) A special regime for the benefit of children of parents and non-resident foreign mothers, born in the country during the period from June 16th, 1929 to April 18th, 2007, registered in the books of the Dominican Civil Registry using documents not recognized by the current rules for those purposes at the time of registration; all those people are automatically recognized as Dominican nationals; 

B) The registration of children born in the DR of foreign parents in illegal situation, who were not inscribed in the Civil Registry. This process culminated earlier this year. 

At this time we are talking about the National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners (PNRE). This plan refers exclusively to foreign migrants in the country  without documents and aims to regularize As is commonly referred to Dominican argot: "darles papeles". ", so that these migrants can exercise their rights as citizens (e.g. access to social security) and fulfill their duties (e.g. pay taxes). 

By June 17th, which was the deadline to apply to the PNRE, 288,466 people had registered in the process. It is clear that those who are those who do not have their legal or corresponding documents shall do, or return to their country of origin, as is customary throughout the world. In fact, the Dominican Government has designed a plan of voluntary return, in which it guarantees, free of charge, the return of unauthorized migrants and their belongings to Haiti. 

At this final stage of the Plan it is good to note that: 

1. Any person residing in the country, not authorized, which has applied to the National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners, is exempted from deportation until the “Ministerio de Interior y Policía” responds to their request.

2. These persons will be granted a period of 45 days in which said Ministry will generate a definitive documentation to those who met all requirements of the PNRE. Also, in this period foreigners who applied to the Plan in the last days before the deadline, and were missing some documentation, will be able to complete the process. 

3. There will be no massive repatriation of undocumented foreigners. Instead, the enforcement of the Migration Act and its protocol will be in effect as an ordinary procedure. The Government guarantees all due respect of  the dignity of those foreigners which don't qualify for residency in the country during the process of repatriation. 

4. A special protocol for those in vulnerable situations will be applied: children and adolescents, pregnant women, elderly, people with disabilities, and victims of human trafficking. 

5. The “Dirección General de Migración” be responsible for carrying out the process of repatriation of undocumented  immigrants. No police or military can detain a foreigner residing illegally in the country, in violation of the Dominican immigration law, without an acting immigration officer being present.

6. Every immigrant shall be processed individually so that the legality of his/her detention is guaranteed. Information shall also be provided in their native language.

7. The military will not use lethal weapons in the repatriation process. The only weapons permitted are Tasers.

8. When a person is in custody a file will be generated, including his/her biometric data, and delivered afterwards to the Haitian authorities.

9. The “Dirección General de Migración”  will open seven shelters to receive, debug and repatriate foreigners who have not regularized their immigration status in the country. Four of them will be located in key border crossing spots:  Dajabon, Jimani, Elias Piña and Pedernales.

10. For this process 150 inspectors of the “Dirección General de Migración”  and 2000 military received training in human rights and new screening protocols.

11. For the repatriation process, The “Dirección General de Migración”   will have twelve buses, two trucks and an ambulance, all with biometric readers.

12. Deportations will be filmed to ensure respect for human rights and compliance with protocols.

13. International NGOs will be allowed to observe and be present in any stage of the the repatriation process.

    Ya tengo mis papeles

      Que no se quede nadie 

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