CAFTA-DR, Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Dominican Haitians Humanitarian Crisis 2015, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Immigration, Income inequality, Poverty, Stateless peoples
Haiti & Dominican Republic – Greater Antilles – Caribbean Region
Source: ABC Voyage
In the Dominican Republic, undocumented Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent now face mass deportation unless they can present documentation of their legal residential status. June 17, 2015, was the deadline for compliance.
Haiti, with a population of over 9.9 million, is a member state of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Dominican Republic, with a population of over ten million, has CARICOM Observer status. In 2004, the country became a fully integrated member of the Central American Free Trade Agreement, since known as CAFTA-DR.
In September 2013, a Constitutional Tribunal ruling changed the DR’s citizenship policy. The ruling revoked automatic citizenship granted to children born to immigrants, as far back as 1929, throwing into a quagmire almost a quarter-million Dominicans, 83 percent of Haitian descent. Then in May 2014, the DR passed a law regulating the naturalization of people born in the country to undocumented immigrants.
By the deadline, 96 percent of applicants lacked the necessary documentation for legal resident status. Reports have surfaced that the foreign minister has extended the deadline for another 45 days. Continue reading