Yes, this is indeed another one in the record book under “Are You Kidding Me?”
There is a lot of heat in the Dominican Republic (DR) for a law there that deprives benefits to any Dominican-born children of Haitian immigrants. Yes, that’s right. If someone is born in the DR but their parents are of Haitian-descent, then those children are automatically denied benefits.
When I heard this, I was flabbergasted. This ruling isn’t particularly, new but the enforcement is being escalated. The amendment to the DR’s Constitution was first codified in 2004. It was recently modified to clarify any ambiguity, specifically including language prohibiting citizenship and any rights normally afforded to citizens to any Haitians who have been living in DR, and includes any of their children born in the DR.
The United Nations human rights office has been advocating for these individuals, referred to as being “in transit” and encouraging the DR to accept them and not deprive them of their right to nationality and citizenship, to no avail to date. The puzzling thing for me is that this rule defies all logic. They are denying rights not just to Haitians who are in DR but also to children born in the DR to Haitian parents who have been in the DR on something comparable to a work visa, what they call a guest worker program.
One assessment referred to this practice as race cleansing, or ethnic cleansing program, which sounds like such a smack in the face to Haitians. You can’t force any country’s government to do the right thing. I hope they wake up and do the right thing on their own. Otherwise, these folks will be deported back to Haiti, where there is so much unrest that many will likely lose their lives.