Haiti to Register Haitian Migrants Abroad

By TRENTON DANIEL Associated Press

Haiti is launching a program to register its migrants who live without documentation abroad, including in the Dominican Republic, where thousands of people of Haitian origin are in danger of being left stateless by a court ruling.

Government workers will travel to remote corners of the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos, which also has a large Haitian population, to register Haitian citizens residing there without legal papers, Baptiste Saint-Cyr, director of the country’s National Identification Office, told private Radio Metropole on Tuesday.

The $2.5 million project begins next month and will be carried out in other countries where Haitian migrants live, Saint-Cyr said. Haitian immigrants will be identified with the help of neighbors.

The program comes after a Dominican constitutional court last fall moved to revoke the citizenship of people of Haitian descent even if they were born in the Dominican Republic. The ruling aggravated already uneasy relations between the Caribbean neighbors, and it drew condemnation from human rights groups while spurring protests and boycotts in Haiti.

Advocacy groups fear the ruling renders people of Haitian descent stateless, but the Dominican government maintains they never had citizenship in the first place.

The two countries began closed-door discussions this year in an effort to stem tension over the ruling and other differences, with representatives from the U.N., Caribbean Community, European Union and Venezuela serving as observers. The decision to document Haitians who live in the Dominican Republic emerged as one of several agreements from those talks.

Dominican officials have said the court ruling is irreversible but a resolution appears to be a possibility.

In front of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States in Washington last Friday, Haitian President Michel Martelly expressed hope that the meetings would yield a positive outcome.

“In the context of these negotiations, the Dominican Republic has adopted a series of commitments that should allow us to find a successful solution, something we firmly desire,” he said.

Dominican President Danilo Medina is supposed to submit a bill to his congress Feb. 27 that would allow for the naturalization of people born in the country who could be affected by the court ruling.


Associated Press writer Ezequiel Abiu Lopez in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, contributed to this report.


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1 thought on “Haiti to Register Haitian Migrants Abroad

  1. Haiti should only aid in the cases of Haitians that were born in Haiti and traveled abroad. If a person was born in the Dominican Republic (DR), then they are Dominicans. How can the Haitian government protect their national security by accepting anyone that the Dominican court decides to send over to Haiti, regardless if these people can trace any current Haitian family members or even Speak Haitian Kreyol of French. The DR has been acting like a supper power because Haiti lets them. They are looking for a loop hole out of the international heat the are facing for leaving these, many born Dominicans, stateless. Haiti is walking right into helping them find this loop hole! Dominicans can litterally open up their prisons and send over the worst of criminals under this racism and hate for Haiti that is masqueraded as “immigration laws.” If Haiti strikes a comprimise or a deal, the Dominican courts will get away with their crime and not face any punishments because the people are no longer “stateless”. This means that they live to do some other violation of human rights another day.The Dominicans Republic can say they are deporting those people to Haiti but if Haiti lock down its boarder and refuses to let these people in… well… the DR have no choice. They cant force people into Haiti, especially those born in the DR! They would have to give these people another legality option, which the people would protest that would in turn add more international pressure or imprison these hundred thousands of people as illegals and that would bring the anger of the international community followed by extreme punishments. Then there is the last choice, reverse their (DR’s) court rullings. Haiti needs to learn how to fight in politics! Let the D.R feel the heat.

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