What Happened When a Nation Erased Birthright Citizenship

The Dominican Republic's recent fascist shift into hate for their poorer, blacker, more vulnerable minority inspires the US right wing. 

Many Dominicans are not bigoted against immigrants. But ... the voices of liberals and moderates were drowned out in a sea of nationalist invective.

Nationalists simply branded those who disagreed with them as traitors. Emboldened by their government, sensing the moment was at hand, armed nationalists marched through Dominico-Haitian barrios and towns.

... the Dominican government was doing an end run around some of the most important principles of the rule of law—namely, that you can’t change the rules and then go around punishing people for having violated them in the past.

Hundreds of thousands of people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic now lived in a state of institutionalized terror, enforced by police, the military, and vigilante mobs.

Dominican authorities ... deported ... more than a quarter of the Dominico-Haitian population—piecemeal over the next three years, according to Human Rights Watch. Tens of thousands more felt they had no choice but to escape across the border on their own.

... the renowned Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat compared the situation to a wild hypothetical: “It’s as if the United States said, ‘Yes, everybody who has been here since 1930, you have to prove you’re a citizen. 

Breitbart readers roared their approval for the Dominican strategy ... “It is past time that we end birthright citizenship here in the US.... I would have no problem ending it for anyone born after 1980 … 

Representative Steve King—a freshly reelected white-supremacist Republican from Iowa who favorably retweets neo-Nazisregularly introduces bills that are eerily similar to the Dominican law: denying birthright citizenship to anyone without a parent who is a citizen or “lawful permanent resident” of the United States. In late October, King crowed: “I am very happy that my legislation will soon be adopted by the White House as national policy.” [emphasis mine]

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Latino USA had an episode touching on this. (I only heard the teaser on the radio; haven't listened yet.)


(And as usual I appreciate your sharing unpleasant, "unlikable" facts, Ruth!)




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