St. Kitts-Nevis Strongly Condemns Decision to Deport Persons of Haitian Descent

SKN Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris
St.Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris

St.Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts– St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris has strongly condemned the decision by the Dominican Republic to deport persons of Haitian descent.
“We express deep concern over the situation facing persons of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic. The issue… is two-fold, one is an immigration issue, and the other is a basic human rights issue.”
“St. Kitts and Nevis respects a country’s enforcement of its immigration policies, however, given the socio-economic vulnerability of Haiti, we urge that the enforcement be done in collaboration with Haiti.”
Up until 2010, anyone born on Dominican Republic soil was automatically given citizenship but a change to the constitution has denied citizenship to children born of undocumented parents. Then, in September 2013, the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Tribunal handed down a ruling denying citizenship to anyone born in the country since 1929, if his or her parents had been “in transit”, affecting not only short-term visitors but long-term, undocumented workers as well.
The government recently launched a program offering legal residency to Haitians born in the Dominican Republic. The deadline expired last week with thousands still unable to register.

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