World Affair Wednesday: Dominican Republic 'Ethnic Cleansing'

Dominican Republic born Haitians are losing their citizenship and being forced out of the country. This is one of the most egregious human rights violations I have ever seen in my lifetime. The law has ruled that anyone born in the D.R. to Haitian parents without proper documentation were not to be categorized as Dominican Republic citizens, regardless of having a birth certificate. Meaning people born and raised in the D.R. and only know life there are no longer citizens, instead they are now “illegal aliens” in what they considered their homeland.

In addition to having their citizenship stripped the government has planned mass deportation of them. It is estimated up to 300,000 Dominicans born to Haitian parents could be deported.

Neighboring countries the D.R. and Haiti have a long conflicted, and at times bloody, history. D.R. government officials have said that the nation has had to carry the weight of Haiti and its economic issues as well as an influx of Haitians fleeing into their nation after the earthquake. Additionally like many nations the D.R. is one that lives on colorism.  Dark-skinned people, especially those with Haitian features, are often harassed and discriminated against. This is another major issue with this ruling, there is no specific screening or way to determine who is of Haitian descent. Often people are profiled purely on their skin color.

Now many are scrambling to gather documents to prove citizenship in hopes that they will not be deported. The D.R. government seems determined to dwindle its Haitian population and is moving forward with this ruling.

More information on this issue and the actions that will take place is slowly coming forward in the news. We must stay abreast on this developing story and other world issues.