An Open Letter to Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina


The following letter was sent to Dominican president Danilo Medina urging the immediate cancellation of the announced targeting and deportation of people of Haitian descent, scheduled to take place as early as June 18.

June 17, 2015

President Danilo Medina
Avenida México
Gazcue, Distrito Nacional
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana

President Danilo Medina:

We are writing to express our deep concern regarding the impending mass deportations which are scheduled to take place as early as June 18, 2015. At a minimum, the undersigned urge the Dominican Republic to halt its plan to expel thousands of individuals of Haitian descent, and further urge the citizenship reinstatement of those Dominicans of Haitian descent adversely affected by the Dominican Republic Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling No. 168-13, without the arduous and flawed process laid out in Naturalization Law No. 169-14.

Furthermore, these laws not only violate international laws and conventions, they also create a harmful xenophobic and racist environment against all dark skinned Haitians in the Dominican Republic. The undersigned call on the Dominican Government to take affirmative steps to quell the wave of xenophobia, hatred and violence against people of Haitian descent. Violent acts against individuals of Haitian descent living in the Dominican Republic have been widely reported on, and the international community is gravely concerned about the potential for the deportations to place anyone suspected of being of Haitian descent in danger for their personal safety. The Dominican government should suspend any mass deportations in the absence of transparency regarding the protocols and in light of the disorganization and clear problems inherent in the registration process under Naturalization Law 169-14.

The undersigned are similarly troubled by the lack of proactive response by the Haitian government to advocate on behalf of the Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitian nationals impacted by this decision.

Supposedly the 169-14 naturalization law was meant to offer an avenue for those impacted by the 168-13 ruling to “regularize” their status, but in reality that law provides an unrealistic and oppressive path for those affected by 168-13 to re-register their citizenship. The New York Times reported on the difficulties of the regularization process. And as Greg Grandin reports regarding the centers set up by the Dominican government, “The offices are overcrowded, understaffed, and the needed paperwork doesn’t exist (many Dominicans of Haitian descent were born in rural areas, since their parents came to work the sugar fields, with midwifes and not in hospitals, and were therefore never issued birth certificates).”

We are calling upon the Governments of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, multilateral institutions, the Dominican and Haitian Diaspora, as well as human rights groups,and the global community to take action against this state-sponsored ethnic cleansing of Dominicans of Haitian and Caribbean descent. Specifically, we reiterate our recommendations to the Dominican Government to:

* Take all permissible actions to minimize the adverse impact of Constitutional Court ruling No. 168-13
* Create a clear path for Dominicans of Haitian descent to regain their citizenship
* Stop all mass deportations to Haiti
* Afford Haitian Immigrants in the Dominican Republic the rights of due process

We further urge the Haitian government to ensure human rights protections for every Dominican of Haitian descent and its own nationals living in the Dominican Republic.

We thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami/Haitian Women of Miami (FANM)

Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC)

Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Black Immigration Network (BIN)

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)

Dream Defenders

Community Justice Project

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)

Global Justice Clinic, NYU School of Law*

Racial Justice NOW!

Mecca a.k.a. Grimo
Haitian Activist, Miami, FL

Ejim Dike
Human Rights Advocate, New York, NY

Nancy Treviño
Community Advocate, Miami, FL

Krystina François
Community Activist, Miami, FL

William P Quigley
Professor of Law
Loyola University New Orleans

Power U Center for Social Change

South Florida Voices for Working Families

South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice

Progressive Jewish Action of South Florida

Ferguson Action

New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice

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