On the Implications of Immigration Policy Restricting Citizenship: Evidence from the Dominican Republic

36 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2017

See all articles by Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

San Diego State University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Carlos Gratereaux Hernández

Autonomous University of Santo Domingo; Western Michigan University

Susan Pozo

Western Michigan University - Department of Economics

Abstract

In 2010, an amendment to the Dominican constitution weakened the concept of jus soli citizenship by denying Dominican nationality to individuals born on Dominican soil to irregular immigrants. A few years later, in 2013, the Dominican High Court denationalized large numbers of individuals by reinterpreting language in the prior constitution to, in effect, apply the newer citizenship requirements retroactively to 1929. We gauge the impacts of changes to Dominican citizenship laws on Haitian immigrants and their descendants, to whom, many believe, these policies were directed. We find that the constitutional amendment affected informal employment of some Haitians and their descendants. Furthermore, the High Court's ruling resulted in a significant reduction in the share of Haitian-descendant youth registered in school. Non-attendance was attributed primarily to lack of appropriate documents. Given the rise of nationalist sentiments and discussions to further restrict and revoking citizenship in various regions of the world today, it is important to further explore how these policies ultimately impact targeted and vulnerable populations.

Keywords: immigration policy, birthright citizenship, Dominican Republic, Haiti

JEL Classification: F22, F63, F66, F68, J61, K37

Suggested Citation

Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina and Gratereaux Hernández, Carlos and Pozo, Susan, On the Implications of Immigration Policy Restricting Citizenship: Evidence from the Dominican Republic. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10602. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2940592

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (Contact Author)

San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
United States
619-594-1663 (Phone)
619-594-5062 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Carlos Gratereaux Hernández

Autonomous University of Santo Domingo ( email )

Santo Domingo
Dominican Republic

HOME PAGE: http://www.uasd.edu.do

Western Michigan University ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.wmich.edu/economics

Susan Pozo

Western Michigan University - Department of Economics ( email )

1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States
269-387-5553 (Phone)
269-387-5637 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~pozo/

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