Dominican High Court Ruling Racist says Human Rights Groups

The Dominican Republic (DR) Constitutional Court (CC) gave a ruling on the status of undocumented migrant workers from Haiti. It stated undocumented migrants as far back as 1922 were not considered DR residents, although they had settled in the DR. And so even the children they bore with natives were also not considered Dominican. The DR contains 450,000 Haitian-Dominicans who, believe they are Dominican, and yet are being denied identity cards.


The CC ruling came as a result of a case filed by a Haitian-Dominican daughter of immigrants. The DR denied her an identity card because her Haitian parent was an undocumented worker. The Court justices look at undocumented immigrants as "in transit" workers, a sly term meant to obfuscate the fact Haitian immigrants settled in the DR.

In an underhanded move, the DR wants to rid the country of Haitians. They don't want the association made between their country and Haiti, whom they consider inferior. But the ruling has backfired, and made them look racist. Human rights groups are worried mass deportations of immigrants are likely to occur, making them stateless.

The DR is back pedaling on the issue, saying it "will not expel anyone", and they would issue temporary resident permits. They added they are attempting to "regularize" undocumented migrants. But their plan will take two years to implement. If migrant Haitians return to Haiti, they will face a nearly impossible hurdle to get identity papers, because Haitian re-patriation regulations are Byzantine.

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Read more: Deportation, Dominican Republic, Racism, Repatriation, International

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