Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Humanitarian Crisis Worsens on DR-Haiti Border

The migrant and Haitian-descended populations in the Dominican Republic are rife with fear. These individuals face potential deportation after a 2013 Supreme Court ruling retroactively stripped citizenship from children born to illegal immigrants during or after 1929. Thousands have fled the Dominican Republic for fear that they would undergo even more hardships at the hand of Dominican authorities if discovered. The US and other countries must intervene to alleviate this humanitarian crisis.

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End the misery on Hispaniola

Miami Herald Editorial Board

July 11, 2015

The deportation and forcible removal of people that the government of the Dominican Republic identifies as Haitian has created a severe humanitarian crisis along its shared border that must be halted before it creates greater misery.

The Dominican ambassador to the United States makes a welcome declaration today — see his message on the Other Views page — that no one born in the Dominican Republic will be deported, and that no one entitled to legal Dominican nationality will be deprived of it. His government adamantly maintains that it is merely trying to fix a broken immigration and citizenship system that brings everyone in the country into a “legal framework.”

But credible reports from journalists and human-rights organizations describe forcible deportations by the military, streams of people fleeing the country out of fear that they, too, will be kicked out without any right to appeal and rough treatment by Dominican authorities at every turn. It flies in the face of reality to pretend that large numbers of people are not being uprooted and leaving involuntarily.

The Dominican claim of a sovereign right to regulate all matters within its borders regarding immigration and citizenship — which no one questions — does not justify sowing panic among those who lack the right documentation.

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