International pressure Halts Dominican Deportation of Haitians

The Dominican Republic Back Peddles on Deportations due to International Pressure


The Dominican Republic (DR) has been forced to put a halt to deportations of Dominican-born Haitians and their migrant parents because of pressure from the international community (IC). A Constitutional Court ruling in 2013 no longer recognizes those of Haitian descent, and their right to citizenship, a violation of international law.

Bowing to the pressure the IC has placed on the DR government, its President, Danilo Medina, issued a decree to permit undocumented migrants and their descendants to apply for citizenship under the National Regularization initiative (NR). The program though has been badly administered, and has made applying to it a difficult process. By the program deadline of June 17th just 290,000 out of approximately 450,000 people submitted the necessary documents. What is worse, Haitian migrants, who cannot obtain legitimate documentation to get citizenship status, also cannot get their children documented either.

A human rights professor, Laurel Fletcher, brought a lawsuit against the DR more than a decade ago. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the DR to make available birth certificates to Dominican-born Haitians, yet the DR has basically ignored the ruling.

The DR denies it is perpetrating human rights abuses on migrants and their progeny. It furthermore objects to the charge that its regularization policy is driven by race hatred and its consequence, ethnic cleansing, the covert purpose of the NR program. As an example, some applicants have said that program workers have seized their documents.

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Read more: Deportation, Dominican Republic, International

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