By Robin Guittard
The Dominican Republic’s nationality rules are a tangle of check-boxes and criteria, but for one family the impact of new legislation could not be more stark. By a fluke of bureaucracy, two out of three children might be awarded citizenship and all its benefits, but the third could remain lost in the limbo of statelessness.
I met the Nuel family in March 2014. As three young children gurgled and crawled around her feet, their mother Liliana Nuel told me about her dreams for herself and her family. She dreams of studying Law at university, and has similarly high hopes for her three babies.
But it would take some serious legal expertise to untangle the complex issues around the official citizenship of this small family. The Nuels are of Haitian origin, which means their rights in the Dominican Republic are precarious. New regulations brought in by the authorities have further complicated their position in the country and the past months have been a roller-coaster with many twists and turns.