Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Florida State Rep. Asks for Action Against DR in Letter to President Obama

In an open letter to President Obama, Florida State Representative Daphne Campbell demands action on behalf of her Haitian and Haitian-American constituents in the ongoing DR citizenship crisis. She requests that the US government denounce the Dominican Republic’s actions and institute sanctions against them until they redact their new citizenship laws.

Click HERE for the original letter.

Florida House of Representatives, Representative Daphne Campbell, District 108, RE: Dominican Republic Consequences for Human Rights Violations

21 July 2015

Dear Mr. President:

RE: Dominican Republic Consequences for Human Rights Violations

It is with the greatest degree of sadness that I am writing this letter on behalf of the voiceless Haitians in Dominican Republic. As a Florida State House Representative, with 65% of my District either Haitian or of Haitian descent, I feel a complete and unrelenting sadness for the suffering of my constituents and their families abroad. With all of the turmoil in many foreign territories, the leaders here in the United States have disregarded the atrocities of Dominican Republic in its own backyard.

As you are aware, the Dominican Republic’s lawmakers passed legislation (Law 169-14) which deprives and denies the citizenship of thousands of people, mainly poor Haitian migrants and their descendants. The result was a large portion of the population rendered stateless, which allowed them to be subject to deportations, beatings, and even killed by violent xenophobic Dominican lynch mobs, who have begun to terrorize poor black migrants.

To add to the insult, Dominican Republic leaders claim it is an Immigration issue to disguise the nature of their malevolent ruling. It has transpired past an immigration issue and exploded to a human rights issue. Retroactively removing a group or race simply because they represent a meager working class in which the DR despise, is similar to the precipice in which the Nazis used to begin exiling Jews during World War II.

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, the United States Congress, and all leaders must denounce the actions of Dominican Republic. Standing idle on the sidelines shows silent leaders have green-lighted the actions of the DR. Standing idle on the sidelined shows a lack of empathy for the suffering of the oppressed. Standing idle on the sideline shows cowardice in the face of oppression. I refuse to be categorized as a silent leader, so I call on you as Leaders of a strong and civilized nation, to denounce the actions of the DR. As civilized world leaders, we cannot allow this atrocity to continue without denouncing the actions of the DR.

As a country we should not be affiliated with the Dominican Republic until the draconian policies and abuses to the rights of their citizens have been resolved. These actions must be condemned forthwith the strongest terms even if that means implementing trade and economic sanctions against the Dominican Republic until Law 169-14 is repealed. I am strongly advocating for any and all options, including Tough economic and trade sanctions, to encourage the Dominican Republic Government to reconsider its xenophobic law.

We must seek to abolish injustices wherever it may exist. “We the people, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare…” is no longer a quote in a book. It is a mantra which defines our actions in establishing justice both domestically and globally. We must be courageous in denouncing the actions of the DR.

I look forward to your total support and cooperation with this request so that we can affect change in the country of the Dominican Republic for all of the inhabitants. Keep in mind: “People suffer, when the just remain silent.”


Daphne Campbell, RN State Representative, District 108

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