The DR Ban On Birthright Citizenship
Newly imposed citizenship qualifications create a new stateless class
In 2013, the Dominican government ended birthright citizenship for children born in the D.R. to undocumented parents. That policy continues to have a detrimental impact on the country’s large Haitian migrant community.
“If I'm walking, since I have black skin, they ask for my passport,” says Givena Reyes, a Dominican of Haitian heritage and a human rights worker. In 2014-15, she and other advocates helped Dominican-born Haitian descendants go through a new documentation process demanded by the government. But many were deported without due process. “I was at the market selling food when they went to my house and took my kids,” says Viergena Jean, a Haitian national who has lived in the Dominican Republic for more than two decades. “They put them in a vehicle and took them to Haiti.” Now the family lives indefinitely across the border in a community of deportees. Viergena's teenage son is traumatized by the experience. "Children feel very sad. I am very sad."FULL SYNOPSIS