In the Bahamas we struggle with the illegal immigration of Haitians, so does Haiti’s next door neighbors.
Local populations are fed up with persons from other countries entering their country illegally and taking advantage of the resources that should rightfully belong to citizens.
Every country has a right to police its borders and prevent persons from breaking the law. I get that.
But what the Dominican Republic has done is disgraceful. Its discriminatory and driven by racism.
The Bahamas’ constitution gives children of immigrants the right (some say right to ‘apply’) to citizen at the age of 18. This creates its own issues like;
- The individual’s life is in limbo until age 18
- Applications taking long to process again leaving the applicants life in limbo
What our constitution does not do is guarantee citizenship at place of birth.
The Dominican Republic Constitution does… at least up until 2004.
That’s when it was changed to grant citizenship based on parents nationality. Which was entirely with in that country’s right. What I find despicable though is a court ruling in 2013 that made this change retroactive to 1929.
That’s almost 100 years!
Essentially they striped citizenship from over 300,000 people who had previously had legal status. And despite the history between these two nations I think this act is despicable and inhumane.
Decent people everywhere should be outraged and Dominicans should hang their heads in shame.
Additional Reading: 7 easy steps to ethic cleansing in Dominican Republic