Suddenly Stateless In Dominican Republic

On Sept. 23 the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court issued a decision effectively denationalizing an estimated 250,000 people residing in that country. The ruling retroactively denies Dominican nationality to anyone born after 1929 who did not have at least one parent of Dominican blood. Human rights groups plan to challenge the ruling before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, where it could in theory still be overruled. An immigrant census released earlier this year estimated there were 245,000 Dominican-born, first-generation children of immigrants living in the country. But the number affected by the ruling is likely to be exponentially higher, activists said, because it applies to other generations as well. The vast majority of immigrant children—210,000—were of Haitian descent. It’s estimated there are another 460,000 non-native Haitian migrants living in the country.

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