In the past weeks, we have been discussing the plight of African migrants and the challenges they face trying to reach Western Europe and their treatment in Saudi Arabia. Today we are shifting focus to the plight of Dominicans of Haitian descent who face the inhuman prospect of been rendered stateless by the Sept. 23rd decision of the Dominican Constitutional Court to strip over quarter of a million of it citizens of their citizenship and nationality. In most cases, the only country they know since the 1920s.
Over 350 Haitians have recently been forced to leave and or deported from the Dominican Republic following indiscriminate attacks by local mobs in what may appear to enjoy official sanction, apparently in response to the killing of a Dominican couple during a house burglary. Dominican Republic soldiers are reported to have driven Haitians across the border.
The Court’s retroactive ruling to 1929 denies citizenship to any person in the Dominican Republic whose parents were not lawfully resident in the country. This ruling, which is in violation of international human rights law (Art 8 of the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness) has received wide condemnation from leaders of Caribbean states, the UN and human rights bodies and led to the suspension of the Dominican Republic’s application to the Caribbean’s largest regional economic and political bloc-CARICOM-this week on November 26, 2013. Here in NYC, Americans of Dominicans and Haitians descent, activists and many many people have risen up with firm conviction that this de-nationalization of tens of thousands of our Haitian sisters and brothers cannot and must not be allowed to stand. Broadcast on Nov 30, 2013.
- Dahoud Andre of Lakou New York
- Rocio Silverio, Bronx based community health educator, activist and an organizer with We Are All Dominican
- Miriam Fortune a Haitian American filmmaker, co-producer of "Birthright Crisis" with Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees. Miriam’s film by the way - which you must see, shows how violence, scapegoating, and discriminatory immigration policies have impacted people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic for decades
- Wuyi Jacobs