There\’s no doubt that this law will now make stateless a lot of people — estimates run as high as 210,000 — born in the Dominican Republic of Haitian descent.The upshot is that this new immigration status will create great hardship on the affected people. But, just as important is the fact that the ruling puts the Dominican Republic in violation of its obligations under international human rights agreements to which they are signatories.Unfortunately, it took strong condemnation of this action from former Jamaican Prime Minister P J Patterson and current prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves for Caricom to say something about this issue. And even then, the regional grouping chose delicate language to state its position.Now, while the Dominican Republic is not a Caricom state, the country has observer status in the grouping and is a member of Cariforum, which it constitutes along with the 15 members of the regional grouping. As such, the country interacts with regional leaders on a range of issues of mutual interest.We suggest, therefore, that Caricom, despite its puny statement, advocate that strong international pressure be applied to the Dominican Republic, especially throughout the European Union, to have this law reversed.
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