Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Dominican Republic’s Mass Deportations May Set Dangerous Precedent

In September 2013, a Dominican Republic (DR) Constitutional Court issued a ruling that rendered hundreds of thousands of immigrant’s descendants stateless. The largest population affected by this ruling is people of Haitian descent, who have had a tumultuous history with the DR to begin with. Now, Dominican politicians are threatening to deport those who missed a recent registration deadline that many found nearly impossible to meet. Well-known Haitian author Edwidge Danticat explains the difficult history between Haiti and DR and why this current situation is so important to anyone who cares about human rights.

A partial transcript is below. Click HERE for the full text and video of the report.

The Dominican Republic’s “Ethnic Purging”: Edwidge Danticat on Mass Deportation of Haitian Families

Democracy Now!

June 17, 2015

The Dominican Republic is set to begin what some are calling “ethnic purging,” placing the fate of hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent into limbo. Half a million legally stateless people could be sent to Haiti this week, including those who have never stepped foot in Haiti and don’t speak the language. In 2013, a Dominican constitutional court ruling stripped the citizenship of children born to Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic as far back as 1929, retroactively leaving tens of thousands without citizenship. Today marks the deadline for undocumented workers to register their presence in the Dominican Republic or risk mass deportation. However, only 300 of the 250,000 Dominican Haitians applying for permits have reportedly received them. Many have actively resisted registering as foreigners, saying they are Dominican by birth and deserve full rights. Dominican authorities have apparently organized a fleet of buses and set up processing centers on the border with Haiti, creating widespread fears of mass roundups. The Dominican Republic’s decision to denationalize hundreds of thousands of people has sparked international outcry. We are joined by the acclaimed Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat.

Click HERE for the full text and video of the report.

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