Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader has announced that the country will erect a 234-mile border along its border with Haiti. Abinader has claimed that the border will help stop illegal trading and unauthorized migration.
“In a period of two years, we want to put an end to the serious problems of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and the movement of stolen vehicles,” Abinader told members of Congress over the weekend.
According to the President, construction will begin in the second half of the year, but it is unclear how long it will take to complete. The government has said that the border fence will be a “double fencing along the most complicated stretches and a simple fence along the rest." It is expected to include motion sensors, facial recognition cameras and much more. However, he has not yet shared how much the fence will cost.
The construction of the fence has presented problems for many Haitians in the area. Not only does this fence further stoke racial and economic divides, but it also creates residency issues. As of 2018, the Dominican Republic estimated that 500,000 Haitians lived in the country. However, a "large" portion of that population does not have residency permits. In an effort to combat this issue, President Luis Abinader and his colleagues have claimed that they will help Haitians obtain identity documents that will help them stay in the country.
“We want a mutually beneficial relationship with Haiti,” Abinader said.
Photo Credit: Getty Images