The border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti functions as a free trade zone. Twice a week, the gates open and people from both sides congregate to buy goods to bring back to their respective countries. The Dajabon border crossing is one of the main border crossings where this commerce occurs, and also acts as a point of passage where Haitian migrants frequently enter and exit the Dominican Republic.
In recent days, thousands of Dominican Haitians have been scrambling to complete a "regularization" process in order to avoid deportation after a court ruling effectively rendered them stateless. There were reports of small-scale initial deportations occurring Thursday, June 18, the day after the deadline to complete the process. On a larger scale, many families at risk of detainment and deportation are voluntarily self-deporting in order to avoid run-ins with authorities.
In the latest dispatch, VICE News rides across Dajabon border crossing with two families self-deporting back to Haiti after they failed to apply for residency, and gets an up-close look at the new detention centers set up by Dominican immigration authorities to enforce the new law.