Around half a million Dominicans of Haitian descent are facing deportation in the Dominican Republic.
Two years ago a court decision stripped Dominicans born to Haitian migrants of their citizenship, retroactively applied to anyone born after 1929. This ruling left tens of thousands of Dominican-born people of Haitian descent stateless, and facing being forced to ‘return’ to a country where many had never even visited and where they have no family.
The Dominican Government has since passed a law allowing people born to undocumented foreign parents to request residency permits as foreigners, and later to apply for naturalization. So far only a fraction of those who have applied have actually received permits, with the majority of applicants not meeting all of the requirements.
Thousands of people have voluntarily left, amid threats of eventual deportation. With nowhere to go, many are settling in squalid camps in Haiti.
ADRA Haiti has begun implementing a response to the growing crisis. They have distributed food kits, designed to feed an entire family for two weeks, water purification units and hygiene kits to 115 families.