|Prof Norman Girvan|
Dear Prime Minister,
many thanks for this information. Prime Minister, I heartily commend you for your action. The urgency of the situation demands no less. My most recent information is that
"there are already several thousand -- possibly as many as 22,000 or more -- Dominicans of Haitian descent who have been denied access to their birth certificates since 2007, and who are de facto stateless (sitting in limbo, unable to go to school, or continue their studies at university; unable to get jobs, even menial ones as house helps or in free trade zones; unable to get married or declare their own children to civil registries; as they are unable even to set up bank accounts or buy mobile phones). The consequences of the latest ruling of September 23rd, would be to increase, by several hundred thousand, the total number of people who lose their nationality and are placed in this position. In addition to rendering them stateless, this ruling also places Dominicans of Haitian descent at risk of being expelled from the country altogether, as the Dominican military conducts continuous repatriation of migrant Haitian workers, and regularly deports Dominicans of Haitian ancestry, on the basis that they "look Haitian". This year, 47,000 were repatriated to Haiti, more than twice the number deported in 2012."
In these circumstances there are well-grounded concerns that the decision of the Government of the Dominican Republic to "fast track" application of 168-13 (they were given one year but have said it will be done within 90 days), apart from being motivated by the wish to head off international pressure, could well signal an intention to commence mass deportations of Dominicans who "look Haitian"(i.e. are Black) and who fail to meet the stated criteria. This is a very serious matter that has the potential to escalate into a major humanitarian crisis with racial overtones right in the heart of the Caribbean, while the attention of the "international community" and the world's media is otherwise occupied.
Prime Minister, your action in opposing DR entry to Caricom and proposing suspension from Cariforum, and most important of all, from PetroCaribe, may appear to be extreme to some but I believe is fully warranted by the present situation and imminent dangers. Your action would be strengthened, however, if it had the support and common position of the entire Caribbean Community. As you are a member of the Caricom Bureau in your capacity as Incoming Chairman, along with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago and President Martelly of Haiti, please permit me to suggest that you seek an early special meeting of the Bureau to secure endorsement of your actions by the Community.
Thank you and respectfully
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