Summary: Individuals of Haitians descents who have been living in the Dominican Republic since 1929 have been benefiting from the Jus Soli as well as the Jus Sanguinis in the sense they were born in the Republic Dominican and/or at least one of their parent was born Dominican.

Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in Paris on December 12, 1948 argues that everyone is entitled to a nationality and that no one may be arbitrarily deprived of his or her nationality. Starting from this principle, the bottom line up front is that the decision without appeal of the Dominican Constitutional Court to strip thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descents the Dominican nationality is antagonistic to the will of the universally approved act advocating for the respect of human rights throughout the world.

According to the Dominican law relating to nationality, “Is Dominican any individual born on Dominican soil, regardless of national origin of either parent, as 1929long either parent can prove that the child was indeed born in the Dominican Republic. Therefore, such a child acquires his or her nationality on the basis of the Jus Soli (Right of Territory) concept. Again, removing the nationality of individuals of Haitian descents is contrary to any act of common sense.

The Haitian Constitution of 1987 in its article 11 considers Haitians any person born of a Haitian father or a Haitian mother who themselves were born Haitians and have never renounced their nationality at the time of birth. Thus, Haitian nationality is primarily acquired by Jus Sanguinis (Right of the Blood).

Nonetheless, this article is not complete and leaves the door open for a plethora of interpretations. This article would seem to say that wherever Haitians give birth, their progenies are of Haitian origin. Which entails, a Haitian currently living in America who happens to give birth in America; such a child will be “Haitian” in the sense that one of his or her parent is Haitian-born and has not renounced to his or her nationality.

0:00 In the aftermath of the decision of the Dominican Constitutional Court, several men of law both Haitians and internationals went back to the drawing board in order to interpret this decision with the intent to find loopholes that would allow them to answer the following question: The grandchildren of Haitians of 1929; are they Haitians, Dominicans or simply individuals who were only allowed to benefit the Jus Soli of the country in which they were born?

The direct and major impact of this decision is that it creates stateless persons, men without homelands, or people without nationalities; a status contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It had been 84 years since the first wave of Haitians had trod the Dominican soil. This implies that those Haitians, while they were working in the “Batey,” as humans beings, coupled between them or, for that matter, with Dominicans; unions from which children were generated and is continuing to be generated.

Their descendants or their progenies thus satisfied the requirement of the Dominican law relating to nationality; they were born there and therefore, they are of Dominican origins, their grand-grandchildren are also of Dominican origins, and they are all enjoying both the Jus Sanguinis and the Jus Soli.” Conversely, they are not Haitians by virtue that they were not born in Haiti and because it is assumable their parents were not born Haitians, as provided in article 11 of the constitution in currently place. Given they are now stateless, should they wish to come settle in Haiti, they will be treated as foreigners and subsequently, will be required to reside in Haiti for five consecutive years if they wish to obtain Haitian citizenship as stipulated by article 12.1 of the Constitution of 1987.

Known that Haiti is not economically and geographically ready to accept these hundreds of thousands of stateless persons on its territory and given that no person shall be “without a country,” this, in accordance with article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Haitian Government has the responsibility to take the case of the individuals affected by the decision of Dominican Constitutional Court before the UN Refugee Agency to require the enactment of a welcome program through other countries like the United States, the Canada, la France, etc., would grant political asylums and social assistances to these Dominicans of Haitian origins.

Cubans commonly are benefiting from this principle; Cubans who leave Cuba, automatically lose their nationality and never will they be allowed to return to their country of origin. To protect them, the United Nations established the “Cuban Refugee Program;” a program that requires countries receiving Cuban immigrants to grant them access to an array of social service programs like health services, monthly surplus checks, government surplus food, special student loans for college students, etc.,  until they receive documents that will make them citizens of the countries which accept them.

Should the Dominican government decide to deport or to chase those who today are stripped from their Dominican citizenship, the Haitian government is under no legal obligation to accept them as Haitians because of the simple fact they are were not born in Haiti and that at least one of their parents is Dominican. Contrariwise, they may be accepted as “foreigners” and afterward, after residing for five consecutive years in Haiti, they will be eligible to apply for the Haitian citizenship.