'Ethnic Cleansing' in the Western Hemisphere: The Impending Deportation Crisis in the Dominican Republic

June 18, 2015

The deadline has now passed for hundreds of thousands of workers and families in the Dominican Republic to register with the government and they now face the threat of becoming stateless and being deported. There is a long legacy of discrimination against Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic. However, since a September 2013 Supreme Court ruling that revoked the citizenship of those born in the country since 1929 who could not prove their parents’ migration status, they have been facing increasing levels of violence and discrimination and reports indicate that law enforcement authorities have been “cleansing” neighborhoods of so-called undesirable elements—mainly by detaining Dominicans with Haitian features. Now, these workers and families could be deported to the Haitian border, though many may not have any ties to Haiti, speak little or no Creole, and lack eligibility for Haitian citizenship.

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