Protect Dominican citizenship


Haitian descendents born in the Dominican Republic, who are Dominican citizens, are having their citizenship challenged (Dominican Republic could leave Haitians without citizenship, Oct. 2). As a missionary for 12 years with Haitian descendants in the Dominican Republic, I know that in the past the changes in citizenship rules were election ploys to make people dependent on the “mercies” of the ruling party to redefine their status and so give them reason to vote for the powerbrokers.

The problem isn’t just the presence of many Haitian descendants, but that documentation can be bought on the street corners of Santo Domingo. Ruling parties can manipulate the legal status of these people and there is a national fear of the majority Haitian takeover of Hispaniola.

The rule of just laws and the respect of proper documentation is needed. The natural, legal and logical solution is for the Dominican government to permit any child born in the land to be Dominican and grant the corresponding papers that will be respected.

Cornelius Hegeman, Miami

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