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Government faces major challenges with naturalization law

The government is facing a big dilemma: find a Naturalization Bill that manages to satisfy national public opinion, the demands of the Haitian government, and even the demands of international agencies. In addition, it should be a legal initiative that respects the irrevocable character of Constitutional Court Ruling 168-13, which sets the parameters for granting Dominican nationality.

The country’s expectations now turn to the Presidential Palace where over the next few days a legislative proposal will be drawn up that includes the commitment taken on in the joint declaration signed by the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Tuesday, 7 January. One element to be taken into account is the approach that legislators take towards the bill, since many voices have been raised in the National Congress in unrestricted support, without any caveats, for the Constitutional Court ruling.

On 2 December, Presidency Minister Gustavo Montalvo promised that in the coming weeks the government would send a Special Nationalization Bill to Congress for people who were born and can prove strong links to the Dominican Republic. Decree 327-13 issued on 29 November ordered the start of the national Foreigner Legalization Plan for people with irregular migratory status. The decree establishes that anyone who for legal reasons does not apply for the Legalization Plan can opt for nationalization.

The details of the bill have not been shared publicly. When asked, Montalvo told the reporters that he did not have an answer yet.

Yesterday, Wednesday 8 January, Montalvo said that they were dealing with “a new item of legislation…. we are discussing, we are evaluating, and in the next few days we will report on this.”

Nevertheless, the Judicial Consultant for the Executive Branch, Cesar Pina Toribio, said that this would not necessarily be a Naturalization Law, or an Amnesty Law, but he did not want to go into more details. Besides bringing together the requisites that have been mentioned, the legislative legal proposal should comply with the role of “safeguarding the rights of Haitians and their descendants,” as agreed at the bi-national meeting in Ouanaminthe on Tuesday 7 January.

The Medina government has said that it is going ahead with the start of the Foreigner Legalization Plan that seeks to give legal status to all those living in the Dominican Republic. Those not regularizing their status in the 18-month term will be offered assisted deportation or asked to leave.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Category: DR News |

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Last updated March 25, 2017 at 5:40 PM
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