Dominican Republic: Tensions with Haiti over Citizenship and Migration Issues [July 15, 2015]   [open pdf - 195KB]

"A serious dispute between the Dominican Republic and Haiti regarding the citizenship status of some 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent, as well as undocumented migrants in the Dominican Republic, threatens to exacerbate tensions between the two neighbors. In 2013, a Dominican Constitutional Tribunal ruling called into question the legal status of people of Haitian descent who were born in the Dominican Republic to undocumented parents. […] At issue is how the Dominican government will determine the status of those affected by the ruling, whether individuals will be rendered stateless (not considered to be a citizen of any state under national law), and when and if the Dominican government will deport those affected to Haiti, a country ill-equipped to receive large numbers of displaced people. International organizations and human rights groups assert that protection of, and assistance to, those affected are critical priorities. The situation involves a complex mix of discrimination in nationality legislation and migration policies and lack of birth registration in the Dominican Republic combined with conflicting nationality laws between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Due to these policy discrepancies and a great deal of uncertainty, tens of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent have relocated to Haiti. It is unclear whether they decided to leave the Dominican Republic voluntarily or out of intimidation and fear."

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN10317
Public Domain
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