Sunday, June 7, 2015

Crisis in the Dominican Republic: Hundreds of Thousands on Precipice of Losing Everything, Yet No One Seems to Care?



Ediberto Roman on the Huffington Post analyzes the crisis for many persons of Haitian decent living in the Dominican Republic.  The Dominican government has publicly stated that mass deportations of its citizens of Haitian descent will commence on or about June 17, 2015. It has massed a fleet of buses to deport these Dominicans to a land largely foreign to these people. The Dominican military, for its part, is ramping up efforts at collective deportations, sweeping up anyone who "looks" Haitian, and dumping them in Haiti. No world leader and few media outlets are focusing on this human rights tragedy.

In 2013, the Dominican Constitutional Court, citing the country's 2010 constitution, retroactively stripped the citizenship of people born after 1929 to parents without Dominican ancestry, declaring that they were residing in the country illegally or with temporary permits.  The court effectively stripped the citizenship to its citizens of Haitian descent. "In other words, despite the language of its own constitution, human rights norms, and decades of reasonable practice, in one stroke of a pen, the Dominican government actually held that generations of Dominican citizens were stateless under a logic that makes even our own tragic racially motivated decisions of Dred Scott (the 1800s decision holding African-Americans incapable of becoming citizens) and Korematsu (the WWII decision upholding the internment U.S. citizens of Japanese descent) seem logical."



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