The New York State Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the denationalization of Dominicans of Haitian descent, Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte announced on Tuesday. The bill states that New Yorkers–Dominicans, Haitians, Caribbeans, and many others–care about what’s happening inside Dominican Republic.
“Today’s vote sends an unequivocal message that the Dominican Republic’s persistent abuse of Dominicans of Haitian descent must stop,” Bichotte said. “As happy as I am to bring my hunger strike to an end, it was nothing compared to the deprivation and persecution suffered by Dominicans of Haitian descent. I applaud my colleagues in the Assembly for joining me in voting to condemn these human rights violations.”
Resolution K376 addresses recent laws and court decisions in the Dominican Republic that have left hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent without citizenship rendering them stateless, as well as other human rights abuses faced by that community.
“The Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York (HALANY) extends its deepest thanks to Assembly women Rodneyse Bichotte, Michaelle Solages and Kimberly Jean-Pierre for their courageous efforts in bringing Resolution K376 before the New York State Assembly,” HALANY said in a statement.
Dominican officials received widespread criticism for their changes to nationalization laws. In response, the Dominican authorities approved a law creating a pathway to citizenship for those of Haitian descent. Roughly 10,000 people have applied under the new law. Dominican officials have since declared that by June 2015 they will begin mass deportations of people who have not legalized their immigration status.