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Border security has become a major concern for the Dominican Republic as gang violence has plunged neighboring Haiti into chaos, prompting tighter border security and deportations.

An estimated 5 million people in Haiti are in need of humanitarian assistance and approximately 362,000 Haitians have been internally displaced across the country.

In the capital Port-au-Prince, where 160,000 people have been displaced, extreme violence remains high and gangs are believed to control 80% of the city.

But despite the increasingly dire situation, just a six-hour drive from Haiti’s capital to the border with the Dominican Republic, Haitian refugees have not been allowed entry into the only other state on the shared island of Hispaniola.

Haiti gangs

Around 160,000 people have been displaced in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph/File)

U.S. national security faces grave risks as gangs fight for control of Haiti

On Monday, the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) said about 17,000 people had fled Port-au-Prince in less than a week following the sudden resignation of Haitian interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Dominican President Luis Abinader made headlines this month when he called for action during a UN Security Council meeting, warning: “Either we will fight together to save Haiti, or we will fight alone to protect the Dominican Republic.”

DR border wall with Haiti

This view shows the wall the Dominican Republic is building on the border with Haiti in March 2023. (Erika Santelices/AFP via Getty Images)

It is unclear how many Haitians have attempted to flee to the Dominican Republic, although the IOM found that the majority of displaced Haitians intend to remain in the country, while 3% intend to travel to the neighboring country and 1% plan your onward journey to the USA or Brazil.

A Dominican Republic soldier organizes the border crossing of Haitians after they were granted access to a farmers market for essential goods and trading, March 18, 2024, in Dajabon, Dominican Republic. (Reuters/Fran Afonso)

The unrest has raised some fears in the international community that mass migration could occur as Haitians seek to escape violence in their homeland, although it is unlikely they will manage to escape on foot.

Abinader has already taken steps to protect the border from the neighboring crisis by blocking Haitian refugees, deporting undocumented Haitians and continuing construction of an extensive border wall – although he has allowed Haitians to pass through the Dajabon border checkpoint to access one to maintain a market where they can shop and sell goods.

Nearly 1,000 Americans in Haiti are pleading for help as gangs launch new attacks, the State Department says

Dominican Republic soldiers stand guard before opening the gate to allow Haitians to cross the border after being allowed to enter a farmers market for essential goods and trade, March 18, 2024, in Dajabon, Dominican Republic. (Reuters/Fran Afonso)

A 12-foot-tall wall, dubbed a “smart security fence” by Dominican authorities, runs about 100 miles along the border with Haiti.

The fence, which has been under construction for more than two years, relies on technology such as drones, 360-degree cameras and night vision devices to allow Dominican soldiers to focus on other security measures such as patrols, a commander told Fox News correspondent Bryan Llenas .

Haitian residents step out of a truck for deportation at the Haiti-Dominican Republic border in Dajabon province, Dominican Republic, March 17, 2024. (Reuters/Fran Afonso)

Despite some criticism of the tough stance that prohibits Haitians from seeking refuge in the neighboring country, Dominican authorities maintain that the border fence has helped protect against Haitian gangs and curbed vehicle, motor and livestock thefts.

Some in the U.S. see the Dominican Republic’s success in tightly regulating border crossings as confirmation that measures like a wall could ease immigration problems closer to home.


Migrants are coming into Texas along the southern border

A U.S. Border Patrol agent monitors more than 2,000 migrants at a field processing center in Eagle Pass, Texas, on December 18, 2023. (John Moore/Getty Images)

“The Biden administration has politicized and emotionalized [the] Border wall that makes them the enemy instead of recognizing them as the national security asset they have proven to be in the past. “The president must wake up to the reality that strong border security and effective policies are critical to national security,” Texas Republican Rep. August Pfluger, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News Digital.

Asked whether the U.S. would work with its Dominican counterparts to encourage them to open their borders to refugees, a State Department official told Fox News Digital that they would not comment on private diplomatic discussions.

Fox News’ Bryan Llenas and Maria Paronich contributed to this report.

By admin

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