New Dominican Republic law enables citizenship for many but excludes more, groups warn

Human rights groups say a new law in the Dominican Republic creating a path to citizenship for the descendants of tens of thousands of migrants who came from neighboring Haiti fails to address the plight of many more people.

Activists warned on Thursday that loopholes mean most people born in the Dominican Republic to migrants will remain essentially stateless.

Senators gave final legislative approval late Wednesday to the legislation, which was introduced after a Dominican court ruling that authorized the government to strip the citizenship of residents born to migrants living illegally in the Dominican Republic.

Santiago Canton of the U.S.-based Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights says the law will benefit only about 20,000 people while activists estimate 200,000 people were affected by the court ruling.