There is a humanitarian crisis that is currently unfolding in the Dominican Republic. Unable to find work in Haiti, many Haitians have sought opportunities by migrating to the Dominican Republic. In 2013 the Dominican high court issued a ruling retroactively removing citizenship from anyone born to non-Dominican parents since 1929. In 2014 The Dominican government passed a law giving unregistered Haitians until June 17 of 2015 to officially become residents; a 45-day grace period was given to complete the process. As a Human Rights Watch report released in July 2015 put it, “the law has been fraught with design and implementation flaws that have thwarted the re-nationalization process.” This has led to the implementation of policies that are violating the human and civil rights of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent.
Most of the Haitian migrants were never formally registered with the Dominican authorities but many have lived decades in the country. Many had children in the Dominican Republic, who are now at risk of losing their right to Dominican citizenship. Recent legal changes have placed many Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent at risk of having their rights violated. Also, anti-Haitian sentiments have driven armed vigilantes to attack Haitians and Dominican of Haitian descent, bringing back memories of past violent tensions.