PRI’s ‘The World’ covers controversial court ruling in the Dominican Republic

Image via Amy Bracken/
Image via Amy Bracken/

You may be familiar with a controversial court ruling in the Dominican Republic that retroactively stripped citizenship from anyone born in the country to undocumented parents dating back to 1929. Not surprisingly, it mostly affects Dominicans of Haitian descent.

Public Radio International‘s “The World sent reporter Amy Bracken to the Dominican Republic to interview folks on the island, and much like the immigration debate here in the United States, opinions were mixed.

Take Mario Matos Cuevos, for instance. An 81-year-old retired soldier, he told The World “the Dominican president has made it clear that ‘everyone must get their papers in order,’ just like anywhere else in the world.”

When Bracken asked Cuevos if he thinks it’s unfair to make people who have lived in this country for generations go back and apply for papers all over again, he said “no,” since most of those affected have ties to Haiti.

“According to the Haitian Constitution, anyone of Haitian descent, whether legal or illegal, living in any country, is Haitian. That’s what their Constitution says,” Cuevos said.

On the other hand, high school student Yahisse Cuevas saw things a different way.

“Dominicans are very racist,” she told Bracken, “the way we abuse Haitians, always asking for their papers and mistreating them.”

It is no secret that many Latin American countries have attitudes against those with darker skin. One has to wonder how much that plays a factor in this debate.

Listen to the interesting audio here. And catch their other segments via their archives. The World is a great show to keep more in-depth tabs on news from around the world.


Citizenship, Immigration and National Security After 9/11

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 5.05.50 PMFordham University’s Center on National Security will host a a symposium on the complex and shifting nature of citizenship rights in a post 9/11 world on Friday, Sept. 20. The event is free. Register here. Among topics for discussion:
How have the post 9/11 legal and policy battles affected the legal rights of citizens and non-citizens? How can we best understand the tensions between the state’s duty to protect its citizens and the desire to protect individual rights and liberties?
Agenda and speakers:

9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – Panel 1: Enemy Citizens: Rethinking Rights in Times of War
Baher Azmy, 
Center for Constitutional Rights
David Cole, Georgetown University Law Center
Thomas Lee, Fordham Law School
Peter Margulies, Roger Williams University School of Law
Michael Paulsen, University of St. Thomas School of Law
Moderator: Karen Greenberg, Center on National Security atFordham Law School

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Panel 2: US Citizenship and the Right to Have Rights
Linda Bosniak, 
Rutgers-Camden School of Law
Jennifer Elsea, Congressional Research Service
Andrew Kent, Fordham Law School
Neomi Rao, George Mason University School of Law
Moderator: Martin Flaherty, Fordham Law School

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. – Lunch

Speaker: Benjamin Wittes, Brookings Institution2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Panel 3: Gaining and Losing Citizenship in the National Security Context
Muneer Ahmad, Yale Law School
Ramzi Kassem, City University of New York Law School
Peter SpiroBeasley School of Law, Temple University
Stephen VladeckWashington College of Law, American University
Leti VolppUC Berkeley Law School
Moderator: Joseph Landau, Fordham Law School