The Origins of Anti-Haitian Sentiment in the Dominican Republic

Source: NACLA Report on the Americas

Beginning as an elite construction rather than a popular attitude, the widespread vilification of Haitians began under the brutal Trujillo dictatorship.

On Wednesday June 17, the deadline for Haitian immigrants and people of Haitian descent to file paperwork with the Dominican government proving their legal right to reside in the country expired. This impacts recent immigrants without documentation as well asDominicanswho cannot prove they were born in the Dominican Republic and that their parents were legal residents. Ominously, the Department of Immigration has reportedly been training officers to carry out deportations, and many Dominican-Haitians are fearful of being forced to leave the only country they know. Although the government has stated they will not begin widespread deportations, the estimated tens of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent that still do not have citizenship rights face an uncertain future.Amid international criticism, the Dominican government has repeatedly argued that it has a right to determine who qualifies for citizenship.

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