Ley 169-14

Who’s A Citizen? Law 169-14 creates two categories of people born in the DR to foreign parents

In practice, there’s never been a very clear migration legislation, on the one hand. And on the other hand, the rights of descendants born in the Dominican Republic have been shrinking over the years,” she added

By Sarah Tilotta │  npr.org

whosacitizen-01_slide-b0eb23aaedb2b614c6c9c5dba4aca5f814ab85da-s40-c85Anderson Desir, 9, shares a dream with many boys his age in the Dominican Republic: He wants to grow up and play baseball in la liga grande, otherwise known as American Major League Baseball.

But there’s an important difference between Anderson and the 80 Dominican kids from his summer baseball league in San Pedro de Macoris: Anderson is Haitian.

In a controversial decision last year, the Dominican Constitutional Court ruled that those born in the country are not citizens unless at least one parent is a legal resident.

The decision could cause problems for Haitians living in the Dominican Republic, like Anderson, whose parents brought him here from Haiti shortly after he was born. However, the ruling especially affects an estimated 250,000 Haitian descendants born in the Dominican Republic, including Anderson’s two siblings — his sister Rosaura, 6, and his brother Mickael, 2.

The court’s judgment was criticized by the United States, other Latin countries and international human rights advocates, who said the move could create a significant stateless population in the Dominican Republic.

In response, Dominican President Danilo Medina signed a law in May that essentially creates two categories of people born in the Dominican Republic to foreign parents: those births that were officially entered into the Civil Registry, and those that were not.

The first of the two groups represents a minority of approximately 20,000, who in theory should become “regularized” automatically. However, the vast majority, 200,000 or more in the second group, will be subject to a discretionary application, and would have an uncertain future in the Dominican Republic.

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