Groups Rally in Haiti for Immigrants in Dominican Republic

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Activists and human rights groups in Haiti respond as Dominicans of Haitian descent are threatened with deportation. Human rights and religious groups in Haiti have united to plan a “march for dignity” on Tuesday 21 July through the center of the capital, Port-au-Prince, in solidarity with Dominicans of Haitian descent, as well as those Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic, TeleSur reports.

The move comes as the government of the Dominican Republic rejected the demand of the Organization of American States to enter into dialogue with Haiti over the former’s decision to deport thousands of Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent.

Organizations including Support Group for the Repatriated and Refugees, the National Network of the Defense of Human Rights and the Center for Analysis and Investigation in Human Rights, plus at least eight others have rallied together to call on political parties, businesses and citizens to attend the demonstration.

In a statement released over the weekend, the groups said that the march would take place in solidarity with the thousands of Dominicans with Haitian descendancy, “victims of the arbitrary” sentence of the Dominican Constitutional Court that denies nationality to the children of illegal immigrants and that most deeply affects Haitians.

On Sept. 23, 2013 the Constitutional Court decided that the children of immigrants without documentation who were born in the Dominican Republic after 1929, even though they are registered as Dominicans, will lose this status , despite never having set foot in Haiti, nor be able to speak the language. ​

Haiti has accused the Dominican Republic of violating the human rights of Haitian immigrants and of provoking a humanitarian crisis on the shared island through immigration policies that are discriminatory towards Haitians. Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic has insisted it has a right to self-determine immigration law as a sovereign issue and has demanded an apology from Haiti for hurling criticisms at its policies.

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