Letter of the Day: Dom Rep law not grounded in xenophobia
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Gleaner editorial titled 'Xenophobic Dom Rep' (June 23, 2015) leads me to reflect on the disinformation concerning the reality of developments related to the Constitutional Court's Ruling 168-13.
Our country has always reaffirmed its serious and profound commitment to respect the constitution, laws and independence of public powers and constitutional bodies.
None of the statements in the judgment of the Constitutional Court established or expressed denaturalisation, much less to allude to racial motives.
This ruling on nationality reaffirms a decision by the Supreme Court in 2005 which established those entitled to nationality in the Dominican Republic, noting that children of undocumented immigrants in the Dominican Republic are not Dominicans.
The system that governs the acquisition of nationality in the Dominican Republic is not based on jus soli or jus sanguinis, but it is a mixed system, which is unified and complementary.
Our constitution, formulated in 1929, establishes the following regarding nationality: [Dominicans are] "all persons born in the territory of the Dominican Republic, with the exception of children of legal foreign residents (present in the Republic, owing to diplomatic representation or transit)". Our constitution of 2010 establishes that Dominicans are "all persons born in the territory of the Republic, with the exception of children of legal foreign residents (present in the Republic, owing to diplomatic representation or transit)".
no legal domicile
The Supreme Court has reiterated the meaning of foreigner in transit, clearly defining it as those who have no legal domicile in the Republic or those who lack legal residency in the Republic. In 2005, the Dominican Republic Supreme Court ruled and concluded that "if those born of parents legally in transit are excluded from automatic acquisition of nationality, the children of those who cannot justify their legal entry or stay in the country cannot benefit from a higher law".
It is also important to clarify that our people are not, and cannot be, xenophobic when our racial make-up is 11% black, 73% mulattoes and 16% whites, thus more than 80% of our population is of colour.
JOSE T. ARES (Dr)
Embassy of the Dominican Republic