Haiti to register its migrants without documentation abroad

The Dominican Republic's (DR) High Court ruling last September, negating the citizenship status of natural-born Haitian descendants has caused an international furor. After months of no response from Haiti, President Martelly finally put pressure on the DR to find a solution to the problem, which potentially could displace nearly a quarter of a million Haitians, who have no papers, forcing the evacuation of Dominica-Haitians back to Haiti.


High-level discussions between Haiti and the DR began a couple of months ago, and two solutions emerged from those talks. First is an agreement between Haiti and the DR, allowing government officials to enter the DR and register undocumented Haitian citizens. National Identification Office Director, Baptiste Saint-Cyr, said the project, estimated at $2.5 million, will identify Haitian immigrants through the verification of citizens, who know their history. Second is a piece of legislation Danilo Medina, DR President, will present to Congress to naturalize Haitian descendants of illegal immigrants, who may be forced out of the country without governmental intercession.

President Martelly spoke before the Organization of American States on February 7th, voicing hope the talks will be fruitful.

The international community has been vociferous in its criticism of the DR, demonstrating and calling for sanctions against them. The DR defends the ruling, saying Haitians ". . . never had citizenship in the first place." But now the DR contradicts itself, willing to naturalize the same group of people it has been trying to force out of the DR.

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