Dominican Republic Revokes Citizenship From Thousands of Migrants & Their Children

A sweeping court decision on Friday ruled that citizenship would be revoked from the children of migrants, which will affect tens of thousands of people living in the country, particularly Haitian immigrants and their descendents. 

Experts warned that the court ruling would result in a human rights crisis, leaving tens of thousands of people stateless, facing mass deportation and discrimination. 

The decisions gives the electoral commission one year to produce a list of people who will be excluded from citizenship. 

The ruling will revoke citizenship for those born after 1929, which will overwhelmingly affect descendants of Haitian immigrants who worked on farms. A U.N. backed study estimated that nearly 210,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent will be affected, as well as 34,000 others born to parents of a different nationality. 

Wade McMullen, a New York-based attorney at the Robert F. Kennedy Center of Justice & Human Rights told AP that many of these people are “now effectively stateless.” He said, “We really don’t know what’s going to happen to those people...Based on what the Dominican government is saying, these people are not Dominican citizens and will have to leave and effectively go to Haiti, where they are also not citizens.” 

He stated that many of these soon-to-be transplants have little or no ties to Haiti. The majority do not have Haitian citizenship and likely don’t speak Creole. 

Read about the intended plan for citizenship on page 2>>