Dominican Republic and Haiti: Two very different versions

The blog Repeating Islands republished two letters to the editor of the New York Times that paint two very different pictures on the situation regarding the recent decision of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Dominican Republic to strip citizenship from all descendants of immigrants who entered the country extralegally, retroactive to 1929. The first letter is from Aníbal de Castro, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Washington, who considers the Dominican Republic unduly pressured by the international community:

The Dominican Republic has a legitimate interest in regulating immigration and having clear rules for acquisition of citizenship. It should not be pressured by outside actors and other countries to implement measures contrary to its own Constitution and that would be unacceptable to most other nations facing similar immigration pressures.

The second letter is signed jointly by authors Mark Kurlansky, Junot Díaz, Edwidge Danticat, and Julia Álvarez, who dispel the assurances of the ambassador that no one will be negatively affected by the Constitutional Tribunal's ruling:

The ruling will make it challenging for them to study; to work in the formal sector of the economy; to get insurance; to pay into their pension fund; to get married legally; to open bank accounts; and even to leave the country that now rejects them if they cannot obtain or renew their passport. It is an instantly created underclass set up for abuse.


  • stanleylucas

    For more on this issue listen to the Director of Americas Watch at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, for the audio click here:

  • Solana Larsen

    It really is outrageous to instantly strip so many people of their rights.

  • Gerald McElroy

    The title of this is very misleading. These two letters to the editor aren’t from the DR and Haiti. The first letter states the official stance of the Dominican government and the second states the view of prominent writers, including Dominican- and Haitian-Americans, who voice their outrage at the stripping of citizenship of hundreds of thousands of Dominicans. Many Dominicans, including a coalition of NGOs and activists (“Dominicanos por Derecho”), are also strongly opposed to the radical ruling of their country’s Constitutional Tribunal.

  • Al Mearder

    nor TRUCE with d0minicans

    D0minicans are our ARCH ENEMY

    i would never speak nor shake hands with any d0minicanSc..ums

    I am Haitian and i am being PROUD & LOUD about it .too.

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