AMERICA/DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Revocation of citizenship to children of undocumented Haitians: "We hope to find a way out" hopes the Bishop of Barahona

Friday, 25 October 2013

Barahona (Agenzia Fides) - " We hope to find a way out, a way to resolve the conflict that caused the judgment of the Constitutional Court", said the Bishop of the Diocese of Barahona, His Exc. Mgr. Rafael Leonidas Felipe y Núñez, commenting on the revocation of Dominican citizenship to children of undocumented Haitians. The Dominican government announced on October 23, of wanting to fully respect the judgment of the Constitutional Court on Citizenship, which excludes this right to those who have been born in the Dominican territory since 1929, whose parents were at the time of their birth, in an irregular situation.
The news, which was already circulating a month ago, has caused discontent in the Haitian society in the country and the reaction of several institutions that defend the rights of migrants. The Catholic Church is very concerned about the consequences of such judgment. A few days ago public a letter from a religious group for migrants was released. Yesterday Mgr. Felipe y Núñez spoke to the press to express his complete solidarity with the migrants and their families, whom he considers Dominican completely.
"Many Haitians have come to the Dominican Republic and have remained there. They were born in Haiti, it is true, but after they were brought up here and here they have raised their families", said the Bishop of Barahona, in the southern part of the Dominican island, who then added: "Some of them have lived in the country for 30 or 40 years, with a family. Others have been here for two generations, children and grandchildren, who were born here. If these people have been living in the country for such a long time they know nothing about Haiti, they are, therefore, Dominicans".
The Constitutional Court ruling may affect more than 200,000 people, according to official figures. In the Dominican Republic there are 524,632 immigrant residents (5.4% of the population), of whom 458,233 were born in Haiti. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 25/10/2013)