SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton announced $14.2 million in additional U.S. disaster relief to the Dominican Republic on Friday, and defended tougher regulation of U.S. immigration and deportation laws.
The money, coming on top of $35 million already pledged by the United States, would pay for building materials, food, farm tools and seed as well as campaigns to prevent disease and provide clean water.
The Dominican Republic was devastated by Hurricane Georges in September. Dominicans had been hoping the first lady's visit would spur a new infusion of aid. "I could see some of the damage on my way from the airport last night. I know what this has meant to the hopes and dreams of your people," Mrs. Clinton said. Earlier in her trip, Mrs. Clinton visited Central American nations that were hit hard last month by Hurricane Mitch.
Mrs. Clinton also said it was important to stringently enforce immigration laws as "the lack of enforcement could endanger the openness that has been a hallmark of the U.S. immigration system."
Some 800,000 Dominicans have legally emigrated to the United States since the early 1980s.