Dominican court ruling strips citizenship from thousands of offspring of Haitian migrants – The Washington Post

Dominican Republic Stripping Citizenship.JPEG-031daThe Constitutional Court’s ruling says officials are studying birth certificates of more than 16,000 people and notes that electoral authorities have refused to issue identity documents to 40,000 people of Haitian descent.

The decision, which gives the electoral commission a year to produce a list of those to be excluded, is a blow to activists who have tried to block what they call “denationalization” of many residents.

“This is outrageous,” said Ana Maria Belique, spokeswoman for a nonprofit group that has fought for the rights of migrants’ children. “It’s an injustice based on prejudice and xenophobia.”

Until 2010, the Dominican Republic followed the principle of automatically bestowing citizenship to anyone born on its soil. But the court ruled that all Haitian migrants who came to work in Dominican sugarcane fields after 1929 were in transit, and thus their children were not automatically entitled to citizenship just because they were born here. via  – The Washington Post



13 replies »

  1. The two countries have a dividing history. However, I also believe the histories maybe tainted. Remember who wrote the history books. When looking at history between Haiti and the Dominican republic, each country seem to have a slightly different view of what happened in 1804-1805 in Hispaniola as a whole. I think the reason why the different view points is the motivation of the causes and the effects versus the perceived motivation. The reasons for the actions taken are being viewed through two different specs if not distorted by early and possibly hateful/racist historians. When ever one reads about the history between Haiti and the Dominican republic from a third-party, you will almost always see the phrase, “Though it is more complex,” followed by the story. I truly believe the “complexity” is where the solution to the hate is. The undefined complexity is the motives and clarification to possibly many facts that may not be entirely facts. The Haitian 1805 constitution “Preliminary declaration 12-13” gives a different view of Jean-Jacques Dessaline when it comes to whites than what is usually portrayed. Even though no one who understands the atrocities he witness could blame him. It also appears that the people who where to become the Dominicans are protected under this constitutions. However, Dominican historians tell a different story. The history of Spanish Haiti, today’s D.R, seems to explain that Haiti was in east Hispaniola only because of Spain and slavery “but not as a unwanted conqueror.” However, that period is said to be “What Dominican Historians call an occupation.” However, it “appears” that Haiti’s invasive-interest in east Hispaniola ended with Spain’s final eradication. Haiti is held in a nasty view by many Dominicans, not all ,because of this century plus History. Haitian view Dominicans as ungrateful because their ancestors abolish slavery on the entire island and to them that is the greater good. I love Haitians and Dominicans. However, they should note that a lot of racist people were pushing propaganda at the time that includes: Spain, Frances, Mulattoes and Mestizo, and the Africans. Finding the truth can mean extensive third party research and cross referencing history between the two countries to understand the truth and the motives behind actions that were taken. After all that is done, no matter what they conclude. They should remember the Haitian and Dominicans today had nothing to do with the history and should be given a chance to prove themselves individually. Remember GOD+LOVE+HUMANITY=LIFE!


  2. I would like to see their criteria for INCLUSION and EXCLUSION before forming a permanent opinion.

    I recall reading or hearing from somewhere that children born of Haitians in other countries are not granted Haitian citizenship. I don’t know if this is true or not. Please enlighten me either way! If it is true this is also an injustice. If it is true, then these people that will be denied Dominican papers will have ZERO identity documents and be welcome in no country! No documents is a real tragedy! No documents = no healthcare, no education, no mobility! No documents = no status.

    What needs to be ascertained is, what were the laws of the country at the time of the child’s birth? Truthfully, it is those laws that should be maintained for each individual birth and if necessary, appealed. When you go to a foreign country you are expected to abide by their laws. The individuals/companies that have hired migrant workers should also have an accountability in this for providing for their employees and their employee’s families. The laws need to be “grandfathered.”

    And, if what I heard about Haiti is true in offspring not being granted Haitian papers if born outside the country, than that needs to be addressed by the Haitian government.

    Canada gives citizenship by birth in Canada, and several other ways. Imagine if Canada required no VISA’s to visit/work, just how many women would go to Canada or other like countries to birth their children, simply for the right to be Canadian. Unfortunately, I know many Haitians AND Dominicans that will do whatever they need to do to get out of Haiti or DR, no matter how unscrupulous.

    Andre, don’t apologize for actions that aren’t your fault, simply continue to be proactive and extend a helping hand when you can. And teach by example. Just as Bob Marley did! 😉


    • Hello Gringa,
      I’m excited you decided to participate in this discussion. Andre’s sentiments are very familiar. Whenever Haiti grabs the headlines for anything other than progress, I want to tell everyone that all Haitians aren’t like that. Therefore, I understand how she feels and, in fact relate to her.
      I have yet to examine the piece of legislation in question, but it is consistent with prior legislative actions taken by Dominican lawmakers. No matter how unfair or inhumane it sounds, few counties give birth rights to foreigners born in them. Some allow those born in their country to declare citizenship at the age of 18, for obvious reason. The Haiti-Dominican case is particular due to its tainted history. There is quite a bit of literature on the international relations between the sister nations. I imagine the animosity will lessen at some point, but we’re not yet at that point. It is in the two countries best interest to find mutual ground.
      You’re very kind Gringa to have read and commented this post, although the blog is audience specific.
      Thank you.


      • Though they are two separate countries, somehow, it reminds me of the animosity in Canada between the French and the English, only on Hispaniola, a border divides them.

        An Earth without borders! Imagine the good that would have … and the bad 😦

        No matter what, you cut us, we all bleed the same colour blood!


      • THAT is very well stated. I am remiss for thinking in political terms only and stand very corrected! You are of course 100% correct. So how do we end these 😥 especially when so many people fall into these categories?

        When humanity thinks of slavery, they think of Blacks working on plantations in USA, that’s the stereotype. They don’t think of someone working for another and simply not getting paid for whatever reason the employer decides under the guise of “we are doing you a favour,” or the manipulation of financial gain at another’s expense.

        Racism is heartbreaking, whether out in the open or veiled. I’m not sure which of those two is the more evil.

        Oppression … worldwide from within the home to oppressed by the state.

        Religion … there is no freedom to believe as long as man plays God to it’s fellow man.

        You run a very good blog, bringing many of these issues to light. Maybe promoting awareness is an answer, though certainly not the only one. Hopefully within our lifetime we’ll see more improvement.

        Cheers and continue the good work.


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