Statement About Immigration Crisis in Dominican Republic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2015 CONTACT: Christiaan Perez, cperez@latinojustice.org, 212-739-7581

On Wednesday, July 18th, the Dominican Republic’s campaign to deport hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent went into effect, the result of a Constitutional Court ruling back in 2010 that denied citizenship to anyone who was born to undocumented parents, even if they themselves were born and raised in the Dominican Republic. The expulsion of thousands of Dominican-Haitians effectively leaves many people stateless. The targeted expulsion of Dominican citizens because of their ethnic heritage violates international law while also perpetrating a climate of xenophobia and racism that puts many Dominican-Haitians in danger, even for those who are already citizens.

The Dominican Republic must halt its plan to deport thousands of people and act in a way that preserves the fidelity of the government to all the people who call themselves Dominican. It is with this in mind that we call upon the Dominican Republic to reevaluate its current policy so that they can provide a pathway to citizenship for the thousands of Dominican-Haitians who know only the Dominican Republic as home. We also ask that action be taken to mitigate the damaging effect of Constitutional Ruling No. 168-13 to ensure that Dominican citizens and residents are afforded the due process that they deserve.

Statement by Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF

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