Dominican Republic Ruling Deprives Haitian Migrants of Citizenship

Haiti and the Dominican Republic (DR) have shared the island of Hispaniola for over 300 years. The relationship between them has been fraught by intermittent periods of violence and stress. Another cycle of conflict is beginning with the DR Constitutional Court's ruling migrated Haitians born on Dominican soil are no longer citizens, unless one of the parents is of Dominican ethnicity.


Haitians affected by the Dominican Republic Ruling include anyone born after 1929. This discriminates against Haitians brought to the DR to provide farm labor. The paradox created makes Haitian descendants of migrants, not only non-citizens of the DR, but also of Haiti.

The reasons behind the ruling are the Dominican Republic, a bi-racial country, dislikes the Africanization of it, and also the association with Haiti's status as the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Human rights groups are alarmed mass deportation will occur, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Presently, DR electoral officials are denying identification documents to 40,000 residents, who have Haitian blood. To put it more concretely, a college student was refused his ID and birth certificate, due to his parents being Haitian immigrants.

The electoral commission claims the Dominican government has a national legalization initiative that would permit Haitians on Dominican Republic soil to legalize themselves. Except the plan has yet to be proposed, leaving thousands of Haitians' lives hanging in the balance.

If Haitians elect to return to Haiti, getting citizenship status will prove nearly impossible. Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe's office has issued no comment on the issue.

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Read more: immigration, Dominican Republic, Citizenship, International

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