By Ken Richards
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- Dominican Republic nationals living outside their country are among persons protesting against a September 23 constitutional court ruling that strips tens of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship.
That’s according to the Miami Herald’s Jacqueline Charles, who is closely monitoring the citizenship issue in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country.
“There are a lot of Dominicans outside of the Dominican Republic who, you know they are not happy about this ruling. They have joined Haitians in New York, in Miami and elsewhere in the United States in protesting against this ruling,” Charles told WINN FM’s The Bigger Picture.
The Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) has also been expressing concern about the situation.
COHA Research Associate, Guyanese-born Tamanisha John, says the situation in the Dominican Republic could deteriorate if not addressed properly.
“This ruling basically says ‘let’s brace ourselves for the worst’, because the worst what’s happen with something that’s basically denying these people a home that they’ve known for a very long time,” John said.
The United States issued a statement last week urging Santo Domingo to continue close consultation with international partners and civil society to resolve the citizenship problem.
Jacqueline Charles says the statement is a well intentioned one.
Haiti’s Jean Michel Martelly and Dominican President Danilo Medina have agreed to set up a joint commission to discuss and find a final solution to the migration problem caused by the recent Dominican Constitutional court ruling.
COHA’s Tamanisha John says the international community must do more to help resolve the Dominican citizenship problem.
“Caribbean countries and other Latin American countries have been paying more attention to this issue than people in Europe or in the US have. And I think that more should be done in terms of speaking out and talking to the Dominican Republic … saying that ‘you can’t do this’,” John said.
According to the COHA research associate, the United States has been reluctant to get more involved in the Dominican Republic situation because of its own immigration problems.
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network