Assemblymember Bichotte Continues to Speak Out Against the Crisis in the Dominican Republic

Bichotte joins hands with Mayor de Blasio along with her Dominican brothers and sisters

BROOKLYN, NY: Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Brooklyn), stands firm with a broad coalition which includes Mayor Bill de Blasio, activists in both the Haitian and Dominican communities, human rights activists, and her colleagues in government to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Dominican Republic. In May, the Assemblymember introduced, and with the support of her colleagues, passed Resolution K376, which decries the illegal practices of the Dominican government and calls for support of the House of Representatives Resolution 443 (2013-14) to oppose the rendering of hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian ancestry stateless.

Hundreds of thousands of Dominican born citizens of foreign descent, predominantly of Haitian ancestry, are deemed stateless after a court ruling 168-13 in 2013. "The other shoe has finally dropped and the threat of mass expulsions in the Dominican Republic is now real," said Bichotte. "Now is the time that the world community must keep its promise not to be silent and turn a blind eye to the injustice, but act and sanction the Dominican government."

A bright light is finally being shed on this horror. Heightened media coverage and attention to the issue of the cruelty of the Dominican government is no longer hidden in the dark. Both national media, such as CNN, and local media, such as BK Live and NY1, recently featured the Assemblymember, who laid bare the inhumanity of these expulsions.

The ruling of the Dominican Republic's Constitutional Court ruling in 2013, 168-13, stripped the children of undocumented migrants of their citizenship as far back as 1929, which is a violation of its own constitution, which states that a child's citizenship is based on its birth within the Dominican Republic and not its parent's immigrant status. In May 2014, the Constitutional Court passed Naturalization Law, 169-14, which required persons affected by the 2013 decision to be re-recognized as citizens, which required a registration process. Although the Dominican Constitutional Court made an attempt to remedy the ruling of 169-14 to naturalize its former Dominican citizens, insufficient protocols and processes were put in place which only allowed for the registration of approximately 10,000 people out of hundreds of thousands of hopeful, dark-skinned Dominicans. As a result, the Dominican government looks to illegally deport a mass of, now, ex-nationals to the border of Haiti who does not consider them Haitian and whose already frail infrastructure cannot accommodate them. "These violations should result in many countries, including the U.S.A., instituting sanctions against these egregious acts," said Bichotte. "People of good will need not wait, I urge groups and individuals to end travel to the Dominican Republic until this matter is resolved."

Assemblymember Bichotte has been working diligently with a number of groups such as the Haitian American Lawyers Association, the Coalition of Dominicans Against Racism, Ahora/NOW, We are All Dominicans, SEIU/1199, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and more to ensure justice.

The Assemblymember and other advocates call on the Organizations of American States (OAS), the U.S. State Department, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the U.S. Congress, the European Union (EU), the African Union (UN), and the United Nations (UN) to stand with the beleaguered Dominicans facing expulsion and insist that the Dominican government respect international norms with its citizens, and cease these expulsions and overturn these repugnant laws.