Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0802
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Full Text of SR0802  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Generations of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian
3descent living in the Dominican Republic have experienced
4systematic discrimination and inhumane treatment, including
5being trafficked into the country to perform back-breaking
6labor in its sugarcane fields for little or no compensation in
7a system that has been characterized as modern-day slavery; the
8Dominican Republic's Haitian population has also faced
9escalating threats to its safety this year through anti-Haitian
10protests and violence, including the lynching of a Haitian man
11in a public park; and
12    WHEREAS, Throughout this shameful history, during which
13many Dominicans and the Dominican Republic as a whole have
14benefitted economically from the low cost labor of Haitians and
15Dominicans of Haitian descent, the establishment of barriers to
16legal Dominican citizenship for Haitian migrants and their
17children, even those born in the Dominican Republic, has
18remained a constant; in 2010, an amendment to the Dominican
19Constitution removed its birthright citizenship provision and
20instantaneously denationalized hundreds of thousands of
21Dominicans of Haitian descent born to immigrants subsequent to
221929; and
23    WHEREAS, In 2013, the Constitutional Court of the Dominican



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1Republic applied this amendment retroactively, effectively
2revoking the citizenship of people born in the Dominican
3Republic to noncitizens; subsequent to this decision, the
4government of the Dominican Republic required all migrants and
5non-citizens to prove that they arrived in the country prior to
6October of 2011 and to either have a job or be attending school
7or else face deportation; and
8    WHEREAS, By the government's deadline on June 17, 2015,
9many men, women, and children of Haitian descent had been
10unable to register to remain in the country because of a lack
11of access to formal documentation of their place of birth, date
12of arrival in the Dominican Republic, work status, or other
13required information; although the deadline has been extended,
14an estimated 40,000 persons, fearing sudden deportation,
15separation from family members, and the loss of their
16belongings, have already left the Dominican Republic for Haiti,
17where many lack employment and housing and where the sudden
18population increase is contributing to the lingering
19humanitarian crisis in that nation; and
20    WHEREAS, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
21estimates that more than 200,000 of those affected by the
22actions of the Dominican government are now not legally
23citizens of either Haiti or the Dominican Republic and are thus
24relegated to statelessness, putting the Dominican Republic in



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1violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to
2which the Dominican Republic and the United States are
3signatories and which states, "No one shall be arbitrarily
4deprived of his nationality"; and
5    WHEREAS, In 2005, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
6ordered the government of the Dominican Republic to issue birth
7certificates to all Dominican-born children, since residents
8without birth certificates cannot legally attend public
9school, marry, own property, or vote; however, the Dominican
10Republic has failed to comply with this ruling and has declared
11itself no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the court; and
12    WHEREAS, Hundreds of thousands of residents of the
13Dominican Republic are still at risk of deportation at a
14moment's notice; therefore, be it
16ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we urge the government
17of the United States to bring pressure to bear on the Dominican
18Republic, using means including sanctions, travel bans, or
19other tools that leverage the Dominican government's
20dependence on foreign trade and tourism, to immediately halt
21any and all discriminatory deportations of Haitians living in
22the Dominican Republic and Dominicans of Haitian descent,
23comply with international law, and treat all of its residents



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1fairly and humanely, regardless of color, national origin,
2migration status, or native language; and be it further
3    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
4delivered to President Barack Obama, the members of the
5Illinois congressional delegation, Secretary of State John
6Kerry, and Ambassador Samantha Power.