“On both the eastern and western sides of the island of Hispaniola, many have feared this day, when an estimated two hundred and ten thousand Dominicans of Haitian descent will become stateless. Even though they were born and raised in the Dominican Republic and often speak no language other than Spanish, starting today, they can be expelled from their country and deported to Haiti, along with hundreds of thousands of Haitian immigrants.
On September 23, 2013, the highest court in the Dominican Republic ruled that people born after 1929 could only be granted citizenship if they had at least one Dominican parent. As part of its ruling, the court ordered a review of the country’s civil registry and birth records to determine how many people were eligible for expulsion.
The court made its ruling in response to the case of a Dominican-born woman, Juliana Deguis Pierre, who had been denied identity papers by local authorities because she had a Haitian name. She challenged the decision all the way to the Constitutional Court. It is common for Dominican officials to deny papers to those with Haitian names, but it has never been policy before. The Dominican constitution grants jus soli, or right to the soil—that is, citizenship—to all those who are born in the country, unless they are the children of people who are “in transit.” In effect, the Constitutional Court’s ruling has redefined “in transit” to include all those who have immigrated within the past eighty-five years.” #dominicanrepublic #haiti #haitans #racialcleansing