Politics

feature: the dominican republic’s ethnic cleansing of haitians

June 17, 2015

WTF?! In what can only be described as ethnic cleansing, around 500,000 legally stateless Dominican Haitians, who were stripped of their citizenship in a 2013 court ruling that sparked world wide criticism, could reportedly be deported to Haiti starting today. According to reports, Dominican authorities have already arranged a fleet of buses to transport deportees and established processing centers on its border with Haiti. What is most alarming about this mass deportation is that many of those being sent to Haiti have never actually been to the country before, many born in the Dominican Republic. Read more on this shameful state of affairs here and here (excerpts below).

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor

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“The tensions peaked in 2013 when a constitutional court moved to strip the citizenship of children born to Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic as far back as 1929. Many of the people affected by the ruling had lived their whole lives in the Dominican Republic and knew nothing of Haiti, not even the language. An international outcry prompted the government to soften its stance somewhat with a law the next year. It promised citizenship to children whose births were in the nation’s civil registry, and a chance at nationalization for those not formally registered. Advocates and international legal bodies said it still fell short. Anything less than full citizenship left these people stateless, belonging neither to their birthplace nor to their family’s homeland, they argued.” —New York Times

“The Dominican government has set up a number of centers where Dominicans of Haitian descent can try to “regularize” their status, and thus avoid being expelled. It’s a charade. The offices are overcrowded, understaffed, and the needed paperwork doesn’t exist (many Dominicans of Haitian descent were born in rural areas, since their parents came to work the sugar fields, with midwifes and not in hospitals, and were therefore never issued birth certificates).” —The Nation

image via The Nation

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