Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Congresswoman Wilson Comments on DR Denationalization Anniversary

For Immediate Release                                               For More Information Contact: September 23, 2016                                                       Joyce Jones, Communications Director 202.225.4506 (office) 202.578.0634 (mobile)   Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson on the Third Anniversary of the Dominican Constitutional Court’s Decision to strip Citizenship from Dominicans of Foreign Descent Today marks the third anniversary of the Dominican Constitutional Court’s decision to strip the hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of foreign descent of their citizenship, the majority of whom are of Haitian descent. They are also being denied the legal rights and protections to which they were previously entitled. The court’s decision has created a devastating human rights crisis and an unprecedented level of statelessness. It is particularly devastating for children who can no longer attend school or seek medical care. According to a report from the International Organization for Migration, more than 100,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent […]

Thousands Cross Border into Haiti, Including 905 Unaccompanied Minors

In response to the National Regularization Plan, 48,808 repatriates from the Dominican Republic, including 905 unaccompanied minors, have been recorded returning to Haiti from January to August 2016. Some of those arriving have been deported by Dominican authorities, and some have come “voluntarily” to escape violence and eventual deportation. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. 905 unaccompanied minors among 48K returned from Dominican Republic M NH, Haiti Sentinel September 9, 2016 BELLADERE, Centre, HT (sentinel.ht) – For 2016, 48,808 repatriates from the Dominican Republic, including 905 unaccompanied minors, were recorded returning to the country by the the Support Group for Refugees and Repatriated Persons (GARR). From January to August 2016, the Dominican authorities have deported 21,384 persons, presumably Haitian nationals, from their territory. During the same period 26,704 have come to Haiti from the Dominican […]

How U.S. Government is Complicit in DR Citizenship Crisis

While the Obama administration has criticized Donald Trump’s threats to deport undocumented immigrants, it has allowed the Dominican Republic (DR) to not only do that but also to deport people who were considered Dominican citizens as recently as 2013! In a 2013 court ruling in DR, citizenship was officially stripped from anyone who did not have at least one DR-born parent (all the way back to 1929). This left an estimated 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent stateless. The US, however, continues to provide military aid to DR though DR’s military is often involved in deportations. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Click HERE to learn more about the citizenship issue. Inquirer editorial: Dominican Haitians are people without a country Editorial, Philadelphia Inquirer August 9, 2016 President Obama has been very critical of Republican presidential candidate […]

New Round of Haitian Family Reunification Invites Going Out

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a third round of invitations for people to apply for Haitian Family Reunification on behalf of their family members in Haiti. The program was officially launched in early 2015, after years of advocacy by IJDH, members of Congress and other allies. USCIS Message: Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program USCIS June 6, 2016 Dear Stakeholder,  We are pleased to share with you an important update regarding the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program. On Friday June 3, with the help of the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued the third round of invitations to apply for the HFRP Program.  The HFRP Program allows certain eligible Haitian beneficiaries of family-based immigrant visa petitions approved on or before Dec. 18, 2014, to be paroled into […]

Dominicans of Haitian Descent Excluded from Voting Through Discriminatory Laws

In 2015, the Dominican Republic (DR) got international backlash for new regulations that stripped citizenship from over 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent. In response, DR created a law to help these people back to full citizenship, but only a small fraction were able to make it through the bureaucratic hurdles. Now, the majority are not only unable to vote but part of the group (Group B) may have no way to attain citizenship, as these people were forced to register as foreigners and obtain a foreign ID, though they were born in DR. While political candidates continue to avoid these issues, Reconoci.do is working to make sure that they can come into public dialogue so that Dominicans of Haitian descent, especially those in Group B, can exercise their right to vote and even run for public office to protect their rights in the future. […]

Stories of Dominicans and Haitians Affected by DR’s Discriminatory Citizenship Policies

Haiti and the Dominican Republic have had a tense relationship since colonial times but that tension began to boil over in 2010 and 2013 when discriminatory policies led to tens of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent becoming stateless. From a woman who quickly regained her citizenship to a man who can’t wait to get back to Haiti but can’t afford it, this article tells the stories of Haitians, Dominicans, and those who are now legally neither. Throughout, racism and discrimination and even imperialism play clear roles but remain un-addressed. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Faces of a divided island How centuries of racism and fear shaped the people of two nations — and echo through a modern-day crisis Mariano Castillo, CNN April 13, 2016 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (CNN) — The anti-immigrant rhetoric on the radio, in […]

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