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The Dominican Republic Immigration Crisis, Is There Hope for Haitians?

In recent weeks Haitian immigrants to the Dominican Republic have been on edge and in a state of limbo, mainly due to the announcement by the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic stating that all undocumented immigrants must either register or get out of their country. Now you may be thinking, no big problem easy solution, simply register and become a permanent citizen of the Dominican Republic right? Well not so fast! The problem is Dominican born individuals of Haitian decent have been considered legal residents until now. Recently, the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic issued a controversial ruling, which rescinded citizenship previously granted to many residents of the Dominican Republic with Haitian heritage. In an effort to help thwart the attempts of the constitutional court and to bring awareness of the potential chaos that might be looming; Florida Senator Marco Rubio wrote the following in a letter to Secretary of State, John Kerry:

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Derogatory name used by politicians to describe children born in a country from immigrant parents that aren't properly documented.

The court issued a ruling that retroactively stripped citizenship from the children of parents who were not “legal residents” at the time of their birth. This ruling was made on the basis that their parents were “in transit” and not residing in the Dominican Republic.

The ruling stated that as a result, the children of the parents “in transit”, and subsequent generations born on Dominican soil, are excluded from the citizenship guarantee provided by the Dominican constitution. This has effectively stripped citizenship from the descendants of Haitian migrants who have settled in the Dominican Republic for over 80 years. The vast majority of these individuals will be left stateless if this ruling is enforced.

Although international attention has shed some light on the Haitian immigration crisis in the Dominican Republic; the constitutional court has carried on with business as usual. The abandoned resort, Jardín Deportivo located on the outskirts of the Dominican Republic’s tourist zone for example, was once considered a booming attraction for thousands of Haitian migrant workers and family members who migrated there fleeing the desperation of their homeland.

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Let’s not forget about the adults who were born and raised in the Dominican Republic, lived their entire lives as citizens there and have absolutely no connection with Haiti whatsoever? Both are matters that deserve serious and direct dialogue.

Here’s the million dollar question:
Are the undertones in Washington D.C. subliminal messages directly intended for other countries to take heed and follow suit with America’s stand on immigration?

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