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Malpasse is a destitute village about two miles into Haiti, past the Jimani-Malpasse border crossing. It's home to the Fond Bayord Community School, which has been functioning as a boarding home for those who have been deported from the Dominican Republic under the country's new harshly criticized regularization plan.
A 2013 ruling by the Dominican Republic's top court rendered hundreds of thousands of Dominican-Haitians in the country effectively stateless by revoking their citizenship. After an outcry from the international community, the Dominican government passed a law allowing residents a pathway to naturalization. The deadline for those registering for naturalization at government bureaus around the country was June 17.
Leaders if the Fond Bayord Community School, run by Pastor Sinas Saintilus, have repurposed its classrooms to house some 30-40 deportees at any given time, although they consistently come and go. Many were taken from their homes at night by Dominican authorities, despite some holding legitimate Dominican birth certificates, and dropped at the border to fend for themselves.
John, a deportee living at Fond Bayord, told VICE News that a group of uniformed men arrived at his house late at night to deport him, threatening him and his family with knives and machetes. They told them and other Dominican-Haitians and Haitian migrants living in his village that they would burn their houses down if they did not leave willingly.
"The guard told me to get on the bus, " Sanu Bresil, a 23-year old Dominican of Haitian decent who was born in the Dominican Republic, explained to VICE News. "I was born in Cabral. I had papers, but the guards ripped them up."
Another Dominican-Haitian living at Fond Bayard named Roseni Casten even showed VICE News the Dominican birth certificates of her two children. She explained that when the immigration authorities deported her, they didn't give her a chance to show them the documents.
Haitian President Michel Martelly announced last week that his government will not be acknowledging Dominican-Haitians deported by Dominican authorities — making deportees potentially subject to a state of legal limbo, and effective statelessness.
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