Controversy of giving Dominican nationality to abandoned minors

Photo: Listin Diario

Politician Luis Acosta Moreta (El Gallo) of the Unión Demócrata Cristiana (UDC) alerted that the Central Electoral Board (JCE) issuing of Dominican birth certificates to undocumented children cannot be decided unilaterally by the JCE without public hearings. This was brought up when it was known the JCE had selected 128 names to use to legalize abandoned undocumented children (Resolution 3-2017).

Acosta Moreta expressed his concern that the motion would open doors so that thousands of undocumented abandoned children in Haiti may be encouraged to travel to the Dominican Republic to obtain Dominican last names and legal birth certificates, making them eligible for elective positions in the future. Most people residing in Haiti are undocumented.

He charged that the proposed policy was promoted by the charge d’affaires of the US Embassy and USAID that he described as the political arm of that mission. He said earlier Alvaro Vargas Llosa, when commissioner for United Nations Refugees Agency attempted to support a similar measure.

Moreta stated: “We have shown our solidarity with the Haitians, but the respect for national sovereignty is not negotiable, and these maneuvers should stop.” He said that the role of the JCE is to guarantee the civil registry and the credibility of the ID card, and that free and democratic elections be held.

Recently, it was made public the JCE has decided on a list of selected names to be used for orphaned children in order to legalize their status.

The National Council for Children (Conani) in turn says that they are the government institution in charge of legal processes for undocumented abandoned children as has been established in Law 136-03, Art. 126 that establishes that Conani is the ad-hoc tutor of the unnamed children. Conani feels they should assign the last names. The observation is made after the controversy generated after the Central Electoral Board (JCE) issued a Resolution 3-2017 with a selection of 128 last names for the undocumented abandoned children was made public.

In a statement, Conani nevertheless says it applauds any initiative to guarantee the basic rights of the children when this is not contrary to processes already established by the law. Conani, nevertheless, establishes concern over the adults in the same circumstances.

Also commenting on the JCE resolution, lawyer Juan Miguel Castillo Pantaleón questioned why in the selection of last names, the JCE did not include common Haitian last names. He observed that most of the children under Conani care are abandoned children from Haiti due to what he described as massive trafficking of pregnant women through the border for giving birth in the Dominican Republic.

Read more in Spanish:
El Nacional
Listin Diario

28 December 2017