Modernizing the Haitian Border

For the first time ever, the Haitian government is able to properly supervise the border at the Belladere-Elias Pina border crossing. Up until 2009, the Haitian police, migration, and customs were in offices 2km from the border. They had no means of supervising the border or of controlling what entered the country. The Dominicans had their facilities right on the border, but had no contact with the Haitians that were 2km away. When the Dominicans would deport Haitians, their bus would pull up to the border and officials would walk the Haitians to the border crossing and leave them. No Haitian officials were present to supervise the process and ensure that the deportees were properly treated.

With funding from the Canadian government, PADF worked with the Haitian government to build a modern facility at the border. This was a complex of six buildings including offices for migration, customs, the police, and other border servies. PADF even built a dormatory to allow for a continual presence at the border. The facilities were completed to great fanfare in 2009, but the earthquake hit before the center could be fully equipped. With its priorities elsewhere, the Haitian government was unable to open the center until now.

Three weeks ago, the Haitian government assigned the last of the officials to Belladere. For the first time ever, there are now Migration, Customs, and Police present at the border. The Dominican authorities have already begun working with their Haitian counterparts and the Haitian government has been able to begin capturing a larger share of custom duties from the goods that pass through. The Haitian authorities should soon be able to properly supervise the deportations from the Dominican side.