A United Nations Working Group has called on the Dominican Republic to respect international laws and end arbitrary deportations to Haiti. Up until 2013, DR considered anyone born on its soil as a citizen, except those who were “in transit” (e.g. diplomats). In September of that year, a Constitutional Court ruled that this policy no longer applied all the way back to 1929, leaving at least 200,000 people stateless. After registration deadlines passed, thousands have fled to Haiti in fear of suddenly losing their belongings and family to mass deportations. The head of the UN working group states that “No one should be deported when there are legal and valid reasons to stay.”
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Stop arbitrary deportations of Dominicans of Haitian descent, says UN
Sam Jones, The Guardian
July 28, 2015
UN experts have called on the government of the Dominican Republic to stop the “arbitrary deportations” of Dominicans of Haitian descent, warning that its actions risk violating international laws as well as the country’s own constitution.
The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent said the Dominican Republic also needed to address allegations that racial profiling was being used during the deportation of people of Haitian heritage.
Two years ago, the Dominican constitutional court used a retroactive reinterpretation of the country’s law to strip thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship. It ruled that while anyone born in the Dominican Republic between 1929 and 2010 was entitled to citizenship, those born to parents who were in the country as undocumented migrants were not.
Previously, all children born on Dominican soil, except those considered to be in transit, such as the children of foreign diplomats, were granted citizenship. This included hundreds of thousands of children born to immigrants, once their birth was registered.
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