Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Protect Haitian migrants in Dominican Republic

The following alert is circulated by Amnesty International.

On January 27, 51 people, including 30 Dominican-born children, some of their mothers and 14 other adults were deported without due process to Haiti from the Dominican Republic. More mass deportations of Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitian migrants are feared.

Read more at Amnesty International's website.

On the morning of January 27, two mini-buses transporting 30 children aged between seven and 13, all born in the Dominican Republic, accompanied by some of their mothers (seven Haitian women) and 14 other Haitian migrants were travelling with religious officials to San Juan de la Maguana in eastern Dominican Republic. Following a ruling issued by the Dominican Constitutional Court in 2013 that rendered tens of thousands of people of foreign descent stateless, the mothers intended to enroll the children in a naturalization scheme established by the Dominican government in May 2014 to regularize the situation of Dominican children of irregular migrants. The 14 other Haitian migrants sought to enroll in the National Regularization Plan for Foreigners with Irregular Migration Status, established in 2013 for undocumented migrants living in the Dominican Republic. 

In October 2014 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights handed down a ruling calling on the Dominican Republic to provide redress for human rights abuses suffered by Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitians as a result of illegal deportations, denial of identity documents and arbitrary deprivation of nationality, among others. However, the Dominican government formally rejected the regional court’s ruling, dismissing it as “out of season, biased and inappropriate.”

Amnesty International is calling for the Dominican Republic to implement the last ruling of the Inter-American Court and restore automatically the nationality to all Dominicans who were stripped of it, both those who were registered and those who were not.

You can find more information on the mass deportations and on the naturalization law scheme here.

Following pressure, in the evening of January 27 the Dominican Ministry of Interior gave authorization to the whole group to re-enter the country. They were still on Haitian territory on the morning of January 28. The 30 children are in a particular situation of vulnerability as they do not hold Haitian citizenship and remain stateless.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

  • Calling on the Dominican authorities to allow the group to enroll in the naturalization and regularization schemes according to their wishes;
  • Urging them not to use naturalization and regularization procedures to detect alleged undocumented migrants and to stop all deportations of similar measures against applicants in the naturalization and regularization schemes;
  • Urging them to fulfil their obligations under international law, which prohibit arbitrary and collective expulsions, and to ensure that all those facing removal from the Dominican Republic have their cases individually examined in a fair and transparent procedure, where they can challenge the authorities’ decisions and have their case reviewed.

Please send appeals before March 11 to:

José Ramón Fadul, Minister of Interior and Police
Av. México esq. Leopoldo Navarro
Edificio de Oficinas Gubernamentales Juan Pablo Duarte
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Salutation: Señor Ministro / Dear Minister

Lic. Jose Ricardo Taveras, Director of Migration
Dirección General de Migración
Avenida 30 de Mayo, Esquina Héroes de Luperon
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Fax: 011 809 534 7118
Salutation: Dear Director

Andrés Navarro García, Minister of Foreign of Affairs
Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores
Avda. Independencia No.752
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Fax: 011 809 985 7551
Salutation: Dear Minister

Also send copies to:
Ambassador Aníbal De Castro, Embassy of the Dominican Republic
1715 22nd St. NW, Washington DC 20008
Fax: 202 265 8057, phone: 202 332 6280, email:


Photo of Haitian boy by Fr. Joe Towle, MM.