In the Dominican Republic (DR), Haitian immigrants and their children have labored on sugarcane plantations for generations, working for low pay in appalling conditions. In September 2013, the country’s highest court rewarded them for their service to the economy by stripping a quarter million of them of their citizenship.
The court found that children of undocumented immigrants and all their descendants since 1929, previously considered citizens, are no longer. The vast majority of immigrants to the DR are from Haiti, the desperately poor country with whom the DR shares an island. The decision affects Dominicans of Haitian ancestry who are in their eighties; those who have never stepped foot over the border; families of four generations.
Dominican immigrants in other countries are united in outrage with their Haitian-Dominican sisters and brothers and their supporters internationally, who are increasingly taking to the streets to protest.
A YouTube video reacting to this inhumane violation closes with young Dominicans from around the world saying “Eso no se hace.” They have it right: You don’t do that.