A court decision in the Dominican Republic rescinding the citizenship of Haitians born in that country “has caused a moral and civil outcry against this seemingly unjust law”, Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has said.
Speaking at a Mass, he said: “We come tonight, not to enter into a political discussion, but to support the human dignity of our Haitian brothers and sisters who find themselves in this predicament of being deported to Haiti where the economic and social conditions are a tremendous burden.”
The Mass was celebrated at St James Cathedral-Basilica in downtown Brooklyn to pray for a resolution to the threat to deport Haitians from the Dominican Republic. That country’s Supreme Court recently rescinded a 1929 law that gave citizenship to all Haitians born in the Dominican Republic. It declared that from now on Dominican citizenship will require being born of two native-born Dominican parents.
“We are two communities but in Brooklyn we come together as one,” Bishop DiMarzio told the congregation, which numbered about 700. Among the concelebrants was retired Auxiliary Bishop Guy Sansaricq, the first native Haitian ordained a bishop in the United States. Also present were Auxiliary Bishops Octavio Cisneros and Raymond Chappetto and Bishop-designate James Massa, along with 26 priests of the diocese, many of them from Haiti.