JG - Court rejects citizenship for children of illegal migrants
Court rejects citizenship for children of illegal migrants
published: Friday December 16, 2005
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP):
THE DOMINICAN Republic's Supreme Court has rejected an effort to allow the children of illegal immigrants to become citizens.
Could this be the beginning of a trend?
The court Wednesday upheld a Dominican law that says children born in the county whose parents are illegal migrants are considered "in transit," and not eligible for citizenship.
Just so. They're "in transit," after all, because they haven't been lawfully admitted and made themselves subject to the jurisdiction of the nation they have illegally entered; therefore said nation can only consider them "in transit" to either their original origin or a further destination elsewhere. They inherit Haitian nationality from their parents, it's not as if this law will make them stateless, merely not the responsibility of the nation their parent(s) has/have illegally entered.
Several organisations, including the Jesuit Refugee Service, had sought to change the law on behalf of many illegal migrants who cross the border from neighbouring Haiti to escape the poverty and chaos of their country.
Perhaps the Jesuit Refugee Service will prevail upon the nation-state of, say, Vatican City, to issue them immigrant visas to their city-state where they can take responsibility for them. I don't mean to be disrespectful of the Jesuits, I'm Catholic myself, and I understand the admonition to be thy brother's keeper.
About one million Haitians, many of them illegal immigrants, live in the Dominican Republic, which has a population of 8.8 million.
That is an absolutely horrific statistic. By comparison, if these numbers were proportionally similar in the U.S., we would have more than 32 million illegal aliens. That would be a heavy burden on our much wealthier society, for the Dominican Republic, it must be crushing. See Jared Diamond's "Collapse," there is a section, IIRC, that contrasts the D.R. and Haiti in terms of why one is a failed state and the other is hanging in there and developing.
The court ruling comes amid increased tension between the two nations that share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.
On Monday, student protesters disrupted a one-day visit to Port-au-Prince by Dominican President Leonel Fernandez, hurling stones and burning tyres in the streets as his motorcade left a meeting with the interim Haitian prime minister and president.
Haiti's government apologised for the violent demonstrations in which at least three students were wounded by gunfire after police opened fire to disperse the crowds.
Earlier this month, Dominican villagers burned about 20 shacks occupied by Haitian migrants in reprisal for their alleged involvement in the killing of a businessman.
In May, the Dominican government deported at least 2,000 Haitians after the killing of a Dominican woman. No one was arrested for the murder, but Dominicans went on a retaliatory rampage, beheading two Haitians.