Friday, March 9, 2012

Haiti Gets One Thing Right

It takes citizenship seriously.  In a controversy concerning the new President, Michel Martelly, a very cosmopolitan man who has lived most of his adult life outside of Haiti, and his citizenship, Haiti showed that it is unique among nations.  Under its laws, once you naturalize elsewhere, you loose your Haitian citizenship.  The article states that only applies to government officials, but that is incorrect, it applies to all.

WaPo March 8, 2012 by Associated Press


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — President Michel Martelly displayed his Haitian passport on national television Thursday to try to quell rumors that he gave up his citizenship and is not eligible to hold office.

The Haitian constitution does not recognize dual nationality for senior government officials, and politicians have been disqualified from office in the past for having acquired the citizenship of other countries.

Critics of Martelly, a former globe-trotting musician, charged that he had renounced his Haitian citizenship prior to taking office last May. Several opposition senators went so far as to open an inquiry into the question of his passport.

Martelly had already denied that he held the citizenship of another country but angered opponents by refusing to show his Haitian passport.
In fact Martelly is, or was, a legal permanent resident of the United States.  And in an effort to deny he naturalized here, he showed some passports:


But on Thursday, Martelly showed reporters eight stamped passports that he’s held over the years as U.S. ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten and other diplomats looked on.

Merten said Martelly used to have a green card and now has visa, and there are no records of him being an American citizen.
For the uninitiated, showing either expired or current Haitian passports is no evidence of Martelly not naturalizing.  It is most likely that he did, as the United States does not report those aliens who naturalize to the country of their former citizenship.  Moreover the United States does not prohibit the practice of naturalized citizens who maintain their allegiances to foreign powers, despite the naturalization oath that aliens take where they abjure any foreign allegiance.
Perhaps Martelly should sign a release so his records can be released by DHS?  Probably not going to happen.

And here is how seriously Haiti takes the issue:

Haiti takes citizenship seriously, but we do not and get saddled with drug dealers due to our immaturity.
Barbados Gazette April 28, 2010


CaribWorldNews, MIAMI, FL, Weds. April 28, 2010: A 58-year-old Haitian migrant, who became a naturalized citizen of the United States, has been ordered deported.

Lionel Jean-Baptiste, who was convicted of drug trafficking after his naturalization, now must return to his homeland of Haiti. Jean-Baptise has made immigration-law history as the first naturalized American in recent times stripped of his citizenship after being convicted of a crime...

However, Immigration Judge Kenneth Hurewitz told Jean-Baptiste Tuesday that he may be able to stay in the U.S. if the Haitian government refuses to take him back.

Haiti`s 19-year-old constitution says Haitians who become citizens of another country are no longer Haitian citizens.
We don't take citizenship or loyalty seriously and consequently we get saddled with drug dealers.  Not a rational system.  It is time to enforce loyalty among our immigrant population and enforce deportation orders.

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