It was one of those turn your head moments. An Associated Press story saying that “The Dominican Republic’s top court on Thursday stripped citizenship from thousands of people born to migrants who came illegally, a category that overwhelmingly includes Haitians brought in to work on farms.”
It caused one of our resident Dominicano Rebeldes to say this: “As a Dominican-American, I am speechless by this.”
We did post the story over the weekend on our Facebook page.
Person 1: “It’s complicated though it has to do with if the coercive as a legal resident or not, or if the person at least had one legal parent that was a citizen of the Dominican Republic. Everyone just can’t move to the other side of the island there would not be anyone living in the west if this were true.”
Person 2: “I have a problem with this. when it was suggested that Children of Illegal immigrants were stripped of citizenship here in the US everyone was appalled.. how is this different?”
Person 1: “Because the Haitian government does not even provide documentation or responsibility for its own citizens and the world blames the Dominican government for everything when Haiti does not even provide documentation of its citizens which are supposed to have documents by the principle of “Jolis Sangre” meaning in the Haitian constitution they are given citizenship by birth of Haitian blood anywhere in the world, unlike the USA. Haitian citizens give birth in DR hospitals , after the earthquake get cheaper rent than Dominicans, and work yet never try to establish residential papers if either of the parents have legal residence they can apply for citizenship for their children and it’s granted, yet for thirty years either parent does not apply for it’s citizens? Even when Haitian workers die in accidents in DR, the Haitian govt won’t even take their own citizens back for the families to get buried, saying they’re Dominican citizens, and then dumping the bodies in nameless mass graves, the Haitian government doesn’t do anything for it’s citizens. After the earthquake the United States deported hundreds of thousands of Haitians for minor offenses and thus they come to DR due to there is nothing there for them in Haiti. Even during the earthquake they would put Haitian men in detention centers until they could provide citizenship the Dominican government does no such thing, they can own a business, drive, even kids go to school or get healthcare with residential papers, they just don’t get citizenship papers as the USA , yet France and the USA did not give the DR it’s promised money after the earthquake only the Cuba , Venezuela and the Dominican did give the promised money , the USA did nothing yet wants the DR to take care of all of Haiti’s problems, yet the DR is poor and only a tad better of than Haiti , they USA should take more haitian citizens on yet does not or even France for the way the Haitian govt had to pay almost 400 billion francs for being recognized as the first black republic and only just canceled that debt after the earthquake, this propaganda is to merge DR and Haiti into one country so the industrialized countries can find another way to put Haiti off on a poorer neighbor instead of helping them.”
Person 3: To offer a view of the other side, I’ll post what my father said in response to this story. (It’s translated.)
“The US and the rest of the international community calls us racists for putting forth a law like this, and the truth may very well be that some of this ruling’s supporters do have a racist agenda based on the history between our countries. But for the overwhelming majority of Dominicans, this isn’t the case. This isn’t about racism. The reality is that the US, Europe, etc. are rich and absolutely immense countries (the entire population of Hispaniola is only a little over 22 million people, almost evenly split between both countries) and can actually afford to have an influx of immigrants like the influx we’re experiencing. They have the social services in place. They have actual opportunities and jobs. But for us, it’s not the same. Let’s get this straight: I’m not anti-immigration—that would be hypocritical as I’m an immigrant myself. But both of our countries, the DR and Haiti, are extremely poor and small. We barely have the jobs or social services for our own people, let alone the 2 million Haitians coming over the border, who have a very different language and culture than we do. The current state of affairs has seen our hospitals filled with Haitians to the point that Dominican nationals often cannot receive proper care. The international community should focus on not only throwing money at the problems in Haiti, but actually trying to root out the corruption in the government so that the billions in foreign aid can actually go to helping the Haitian people.”
Person 4: The problem is that the 2 million people you speak about are not born in Haiti, they are born in DR….. So they are dominicans trying to be recognized as such. They are not haitians trying to become dominicans. You cant go to school or get matriculated, get a decent job, or do the most basic things without proper documentation in DR.
One person posted the following video:
You can read the whole thread here.
Meanwhile, The Stream found other comments online.