“One stroke of the pen and Dominican Republic created 750,000 stateless individuals,” says Earle.
He and his wife, who live just outside Puerto Plata, are now forced to hide their daughter during deportation sweeps.
“In the last five days, we have had to hide Widlene twice,” says Earle. “Imagine five pickup trucks, with the boxes completely filled with 20 or 25 heavily-armed military in full fatigues. Behind them are buses with cages on them, where people can be thrown in and taken away. It’s terrifying, absolutely terrifying.”
If it wasn’t for a natural disaster, Widlene would have spent the last seven years in Canada. In 2009, the family began the formal adoption process with Haitian officials. In December that year, they received adoption approval from Ontario. Widlene was set to start her new life in January — a plan that that was derailed when a massive earthquake struck Haiti, destroying Port au Prince.