Maria crossed the border into the Dominican Republic in 1979. Tired of searching endlessly for work in her home town of Thiotte, Haiti, she settled in Aguas Negras permanently to work illegally in the local coffee industry.
Her daughter, Fredelina, was born two years later in a tiny house made of sticks and mud. Although both her mother and her father were illegal immigrants, Fredelina was automatically entitled to citizenship under the Dominican constitution.
Yet Maria never got Fredelina a Dominican birth certificate. Having official personal identification just didn't seem very important. By law, no child can be denied a primary school education, and most of the time they were too busy working in the fields for her to attend classes. An ID card isn't needed to pick coffee, sell beans in the market, visit hospitals, or even to cross the border into Haiti.
Read the rest of this article in The Huffington Post.