Dominican Republic

What Happened After the Dominican Republic Decided to Kick Out Thousands of Haitians

Abusing human rights in Hispaniola

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Last year, the government of the Dominican Republic cracked down on "immigrants" from Haiti—I put immigrants in quotes because some of the people being kicked out of the country had lived there literally their entire lives. Writing in The New York Times, Jonathan Katz examines the aftermath:

Haiti's on the left.
Ambroise Tardieu

Immigration patrols did not swarm into Haitian neighborhoods of Santo Domingo. Families were not seized from farms. The Dominican minister of the interior and police, José Ramón Fadul, offered mild assurances, telling The Associated Press the day after the deadline that any future "repatriations" would be drama-free: "It will be a gradual process, as it should be, without any sudden surprises."

As international attention turned away, however, people of Haitian descent quietly began crossing Hispaniola's divide. In some cases, they were removed by Dominican troops and immigration patrols, which have officially deported 14,000 people since the June deadline, according to the Dominican government. But far more have left on their own—some 70,000, according to the Dominican Republic's director general of immigration. They have become voluntary migrants of the least voluntary sort, fleeing an atmosphere of fear and confusion created by ever-shifting laws, vague threats, byzantine registration programs and spasms of racial violence.

"There are a lot of people that think there is going to be war," Peres Yves Jean [one of the exiles] told me in November, as we sat on upturned plastic tubs outside his shelter in Parc Cadeau. "I don't know how. But they say it in the news. They say all the words. So the people, they don't know what the government is going to do."

Jean lives in a settlement whose conditions, Katz writes, are "worse than anything I saw in the Port-au-Prince displacement camps after the 2010 earthquake." Jean himself had actually been expelled before the deadline, then returned, then left again:

Peres Yves Jean told me that in March…he was coming back from a day job when a khaki-colored truck stopped him on the road outside Los Patos. Deportations weren't supposed to happen until the registration program had run its course, in June. But the men in khaki uniforms—most likely agents of the Specialized Border Security Corps, or Cesfront—didn't seem to care. They asked him for ID. When he didn't have any, they drove him 50 miles west to the border at Anse-à-Pitres, snapped a couple of mug shots and left him on the other side.

Jean says he waited until the truck disappeared from sight, then simply walked back into the Dominican Republic. He splashed across the shallow Pedernales River and trudged up into the green mountains, past cattle herds, fields of plantain trees and the rhythmically whooshing turbines of a wind farm, carefully avoiding the checkpoints manned by soldiers on the lookout for Haitians. After two days of walking, he reached the palmwood shack, where Lamour and the children were waiting, with no idea where he had gone. They rushed to embrace him. Then they gathered their things and left.

Jean's family first moved elsewhere in the Dominican Republic, and then, as the deadline neared, most of them fled to Haiti. That border corps, incidentally, was partly made in the U.S.A.: "Citing counterterrorism needs and the fact that the Dominican Republic and Haiti are conduits for cocaine bound for the United States," Katz reports, "the United States helped create and train Cesfront, the border force that most likely deported Jean in March, and has provided biometric equipment of the sort used to process immigrants and deportees."

The whole article is worth reading. Check it out here.

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  1. Open Boarderzzzzz Now!!!

  2. Excellent alt-text Jesse.

    1. Oh, like you already knew where Haiti was?

      1. Sure…in the Mexican Ocean, right?

        1. Why cum Mexicans get an ocean but white Americans don’t?!?

  3. Huh. I never realized before now that Hispanola is an anglerfish.

    Also, WHYCOME U HATE TURMP BECZ OPEN BORDERS HUH

    1. WHYCOME DUMINICNS CN BUILDZ A WALL N WE NOT?

  4. GOOD. THAT ASSHOLE WAS JUST THERE FOR THE WELFARE, ANYWAYZ!

    1. WELFARE GANGS ROAMING THE STREETS!

  5. my neighbor’s half-sister makes $83 every hour on the computer . She has been without a job for 9 months but last month her payment was $17900 just working on the computer for a few hours. why not try this out

    +++++++++++++++++ http://www.Wage90.Com

  6. Immigration is always and everywhere an undiluted good. That’s why they are kicking them out.

    1. “No one ever makes that argument. Ever!”

    2. Non-sequitur of the day award goes to…

  7. “Citing counterterrorism needs and the fact that the Dominican Republic and Haiti are conduits for cocaine bound for the United States,” Katz reports, “the United States helped create and train Cesfront, the border force that most likely deported Jean in March, and has provided biometric equipment of the sort used to process immigrants and deportees.”

    Smart power at its best

    1. The biometrics equipment maker is quite thrilled with it, yes.

  8. So the Haitians who have managed to destroy some of the richest agricultural and fishing grounds in the world are demanding they be allowed to move to the Dominican Republic and destroy that and the NYT thinks this is a good thing.

    1. Don’t mistake Haitians for the Haitian government.

      1. Its the Haitians who have been chopping down every tree in sight. As discribed in this stroy

        1. Could there be a reason a Haitian has no incentive to be a caretaker of property and future focused? That’s right, they have no property rights and the government steals everything not nailed down. Seriously, if/when the government steals your 401k, are you going to keep saving for the future or spend it while you got it?

          1. So how does moving to Dominican Republic help since they too have government

            1. Not all governments are the same.

              1. #NotAllGovernments

          2. Jesus, FM, what are you even doing in a libertarian comment section. Your ideas are foreign and upsetting.

            1. Just like European underwear. Where is the pee hole?!?
              /reference to that Dan Akroid movie I can’t remember the title of.

              1. Loose cannons. That was it.

                1. Loose cannons

                  My immediate thought was “what an odd name for European underwear”

                    1. Loose Canons would have to be boxers though, no?

                      Total misnomer for Euro-cut boy briefs.

          3. Are the Haitians ruled by alien overlords or something, or is Haitian government a reflection of Haitian society, the same society whose members are leaving for the DR now that its corrupt government has ruined life in its own country? I mean, how much less responsibility do Haitians have than Californians or Massholes, neither of which we regard nearly as kindly?

            Sure, maybe all the Haitians that are leaving are deeply opposed to the way things are run in Haiti and wouldn’t drag DR down. But maybe not.

            1. Strange, whenever I suggest that anyone here bears any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the state, they insist they have none.

              Does the US federal government reflect your values?

              1. I wouldn’t say there is always responsibility or always a lack of responsibility and it depends on what your talking about. But political culture is a very real factor. It’s the reason why a guy like Muamar Ghaddafi is able to come to power in a place like Libya, but it would be nearly unfathomable that he would come to power in a place like Denmark or Canada.

                That said, I don’t think individual Libyans are responsible for Gaddafi’s decision to burn down some village or to raise the taxes to a certain percentage. But the sort of government they have in the first place is a direct result of that society’s norms, values and philosophies.

              2. No, but I’m the exception that proves the rule. Sloopy fleeing CA doesn’t mean that the majority who do so aren’t still committed to dipshittery. Though it has to be said that this more true of people fleeing the consequences of bad government than people fleeing actual oppression targeted at them.

            2. California is a direct democracy with a long history of robust civil institutions, and MA has an even longer history of the same. Haiti was a dictatorship as recently as 1986 and had a coup d’?tat of a popularly elected leader as recently as 2004. The coup was allegedly backed by the US and France. Say what you will of MA and CA, but it’s been a while since foreign powers backed a coup of our governors.

              So, umm kinda different levels of responsibility for the actual citizens there.

              1. SHUT UP AND HATE DEM SISSY ASS CALIFORNIANS WITH ME

            3. How many coup d’etat-s have occurred in California or Mass? It’s been barely just over 10 years since the last one occurred in Haiti. I don’t think its Cricket to blame the Haitian people for their government when they’ve had so few opportunities to have a say in it.

              1. I’m not an expert on Haiti, but when I worked in plantation there was a sizable Haitian community. I was surprised to learn that a common complaint many Haitians living in America had about Haiti is the lack of property rights. According to them people would start farms and as soon as the property was in good working order the state would seize it. It’s the same reason people are hesitant to invest there. You never know when your business is going to be deemed “illegal” and become state property.

                1. According to them people would start farms and as soon as the property was in good working order the state would seize it. It’s the same reason people are hesitant to invest there. You never know when your business is going to be deemed “illegal” and become state property.

                  Hernando de Soto described and fought a similar phenomenon in Peru which he described in The Other Path.

              2. This is obviously just a reflection of the Haitian’s inherent coup-d’etat ways. Hell, they even speak French.

              3. The plural of coup d’etat is coups d’etat. I’m pretty sure they take away your linguist bling goblet for that one.

            4. Are the Haitians ruled by alien overlords

              Oh, and the answer to your question is yes.

  9. Why is the government of the DR hostile to citizens of Haitian ancestry? Is it because they are likely more poor than citizens of Dominican ancestry? (Yes, I know there’s probably no clear delineation between the two types of citizen other than some pigmentation).

    1. (Yes, I know there’s probably no clear delineation between the two types of citizen other than some pigmentation).

      Not necessarily. I’ve seen many Dominicans that absorbed all light (racist?). They will, however, deny to the grave that they are black. Because the Haitians are the black ones.

      1. So, you’re saying it’s cultural, not about color or race?

        1. Because of the differing languages, colonization histories, and the DR being more mestizo, I’d say a healthy mix of all three.

        2. Essentially, yes.

          I feel badly for Haitians. The ones in africa who were sold into slavery were bushmen. They had only a rudimentary culture and technology. After being sold into slavery they barely had even that. After the slave rebellion they were just left alone with no education, no help from anyone. In the community of nations haiti is the homeless guy that talks to himself and pushes a grocery cart full of useless junk.

          This isnt the first time the Dominicans have thrown them out.

          1. Also crippling debt to buy their own freedom.

          2. “””In the community of nations haiti is the homeless guy””

            Except they have a home, Haiti. And when they took it over it had some of the richest agricultural land in the world

          3. After the slave rebellion they were just left alone with no education, no help from anyone.

            Ideally, they wouldn’t have been sold into slavery at all, but your comment sounds like an endorsement for colonialization.

            1. Ideally, they wouldn’t have been sold into slavery at all, but your comment sounds like an endorsement for colonialization.

              Not really. Unless you’re committed to a completely dishonest reading of what was actually written.

              1. Unless you’re committed to a completely dishonest reading of what was actually written.

                Right. Because “sounds like” is a commitment to a dishonest reading and not one possible interpretation.

                1. Right. Because “sounds like” is a commitment to a dishonest reading and not one possible interpretation.

                  Parse your words all you want. The end result of your words was to insinuate that Suthenboy just endorsed colonialism, particularly the enslavement and forced relocation brand of colonialism.

                  1. I wondered what “left alone” suggested. It could mean without charitable, private, or church institutions as support. That’s why I asked.

                    But you are an amazing mind reader, able to tease out slights or insults to others. See if you can discern this one: Fuck off.

                    1. I wondered what “left alone” suggested. It could mean without charitable, private, or church institutions as support. That’s why I asked.

                      here’s the comment in question

                      Ideally, they wouldn’t have been sold into slavery at all, but your comment sounds like an endorsement for colonialization.

                      Clearly that’s what you were talking about. It’s amazing no one saw that.

                      But you are an amazing mind reader, able to tease out slights or insults to others. See if you can discern this one: Fuck off.

                      So here you’re telling me that you just don’t have the wherewithal to do much more than insult people and strawman them.

                    2. I like the way you hacked the shit out of my comments to limit context.

                      Out of curiosity, what argument did you think I was making?

                      That Suthern was a super secret imperialist with colonial ambitions? There was a paradox in his comment and I pointed it out, not as an insult to him but to illustrate the complexity of the problem. My base assumption is that no one here is in favor of colonialism, but the question of how to understand a problem like Haiti and understand it from a libertarian perspective stands.

                      Please do ignore my comments, though, because I don’t enjoy engaging with people looking to jerk themselves off over their own sophistry.

                    3. Out of curiosity, what argument did you think I was making?

                      It’s getting ridiculous that I have to keep re-posting what you wrote. Can you not scroll up? Here it is anyways

                      Ideally, they wouldn’t have been sold into slavery at all, but your comment sounds like an endorsement for colonialization.

                      There was a paradox in his comment and I pointed it out, not as an insult to him but to illustrate the complexity of the problem.

                      I never said you insulted him and I pointed out that strawman you constructed from his words.

                      Please do ignore my comments, though, because I don’t enjoy engaging with people looking to jerk themselves off over their own sophistry.

                      I’ve been completely direct and to the point with your comments and mine. You on the other hand, are claiming that you said one thing when you in fact said something else entirely. Then you want us to believe that there was some hidden meaning in your words that everyone was just supposed to assume was there and accuse me of being a mind reader for reading your exact words how they were actually written. And then you top it off with insult after insult because that’s all you’ve got. But yes, clearly I’m the sophist here.

            2. Never go Full White Man’s Burden.

              1. Full Burden!

                “The most interesting fact in our sample of island colonies is a robust positive relationship between the years of European colonialism and current levels of income.”

                http://www.dartmouth.edu/~jfey…..007_09.pdf

                1. Tak, that’s nothing V.S. Naipaul hadn’t already discovered and described using qualitative data in his works.

                  1. Oh man, I haven’t read any Naipaul in forever.

                    1. Were you in that team-taught course of colonial history and the post-colonial novel? Anne Kiley taught the English half of it and we read a House for Mr. Biswas.

                    2. I just did the Post-Colonial Novel portion of it. Anne Kiley really liked me for some reason and would track me down to pack my schedule with her classes if I had any open slots.

                  2. It’s been years since I heard his name.

                    I thought his book on the South was pretty decent and I wanted to so hard hate it.

              2. God Nicole, do you not want American troops to pile up dead Filipinos a man high?

                You really are the worst.

                1. “We used to stack fucks like you in Korea and use you for sandbags.”

                2. Can we just pile up Filipino men? And then dive in?

                  1. So you want to go to a circuit party in Manila?

                    1. *grabs bindle*
                      Let’s do this!

                    2. There isn’t enough depilatory wax and fen-phen in the world to make appropriate looking for a Filipino circuit party. I’d go for the lumpia and chicken adobo though.

                      *looks at scale, watches it shatter at the thought of me stepping on it*

        3. Yep, all them darkies are all the same. Don’t listen to any foolish talk about them having different history, culture, genetics, etc.

          The NYT has declared they should all be one and so get rid of those borders

    2. “Why is the government of the DR hostile to citizens of Haitian ancestry? “

      Animosity between Dominicans and Haitians goes back hundreds of years. Trying to oversimplify it is probably doomed to failure. The link there notes the most basic demographic/historical differences; the DR always saw itself as an independent Spanish colony being threatened by an oppressive Francophone slave-state.

      The fact that Haiti has had nothing but 200 years of perpetual disaster on their side of the border, while the DR side is one of the “least dysfunctional” independent states in the Caribbean is another factor = Dominicans often credit their own historical success as due to “Keeping Haitians out”. They’re just Bad Juju.

      “it’s cultural, not about color or race?”

      same thing? The perception of ‘race’ in that world is more complex than we’re used to. Even among Hispanic Caribbeans there’s subtle racial hierarchies of class/social status that are hard to appreciate. I’ve heard Dominicans blacker than Sammy Sosa routinely refer to Puerto Ricans as ‘half niggers’. and they’re not talking about their ‘color’ but rather the racial ‘mutt-ness’ of their pedigree. There is a ferocious pride in being descended entirely from Free People (whether true or not). And then you have the relative superiority of ‘cultures’ in terms of behavior, manners, religion, athleticism, etc.

      1. in short = Poorer people/societies often make social-class distinctions richer people ignore. Haitians are basically considered ‘untouchables’ in DR society. they’re an underclass that will be collectively blamed for every problem, some of which might have merit, and some of which has none.

        My own limited awareness of this stuff comes mostly from conversations with Dominican Bodega owners in Brooklyn, conversations which often started with “why they hell are you guys rooting for the Red Sox?”.

        1. Poorer people/societies often make social-class distinctions

          Have you seen Brazilian race categories? Even an interior designer would roll his eyes at the pedantically fine gradations of hue.

            1. That seems interesting; I’ll have to watch the whole thing when I get a chance.

              1. I found it .. odd. But it makes more sense if the Brazilian women involved are assess the black American men through a different racial lens.

          1. I can only imagine.

            My best friend in college was a super-rich brazillian with blonde hair and blue eyes. “the Brazilianaire”. Son of the Minister of the Interior or something. He would try explaining to me various racial combinations which each had various levels of regional stereotypes within them. I could never quite follow along, preferring to gawk at pictures of hot-ass Brazilian teen females.

            1. Are you sure you didn’t watch nothing but trouble and think you had a friend?

              1. ?

                http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102558/

                “A financier [Chevy Chase] meets a spurned lover [Demi Moore] and agrees to take her to a business meeting. On the way there, they run a stop sign in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. They are arrested and taken to the local court. But all is not as it seems: the courthouse and the “prison” are a maze of zany booby- traps and deadly contraptions. The antics of the captured couple as they try to escape from the mad judge and his bizarre family make up the rest of this unusual film.”

                1. They are traveling with 2 rich Brazilians that Chevy chase refers to as brazilinaires.

                  1. ….ah.

                    its possible the term had some social-currency at the time due to the film. Its possibly the only thing that survives it. I had no idea it existed until just now.

  10. the fact that the Dominican Republic and Haiti are conduits for cocaine bound for the United States

    Whew! For a moment there I though I had to care about this. Keep up the fight, boys!

    1. Why don’t we just firebomb the island down to stumps already, and be done with it?

      1. No need to firebomb anything. Just let the Haitians roam the DR, and they can complete the deforestation project on the whole island, and not just their half.

        1. Thank god the English never had to deal with deforestation. http://www.rohanlon.org/downloads/O‘Hanlon Forestry Source June 2012.pdf

            1. Rindsey?

              1. I don’t remember that name from the Rohirrim Census.

                1. everybody knows rindsey rohan. she was in fleeky fliday.

  11. The important lesson here is if a government program, law or agency starts out with a clear, limited mission, the chances of it growing into something dangerous and abusive is pretty minimal.

    1. Once in a blue moon, when the planets are aligned, the Earth’s axial tilt is just so and the sun is undergoing the solar maximum, THEN I could see one or maybe two government programs, agencies, or laws going slightly out of it’s good and pure intended bounds.

      1. We know the Border Patrol and ICE will never try and chew through their leash to run amok with power, amirite?

          1. Well, if you’re into that, I’m into trying new things.

  12. Well, you bigots can say what you want, but it seems like a lovely and quaint place to visit!

    1. The DR yes. Haiti…not so much.

      1. But think how much better the Dominican Republic could be if it was more like Haiti. They could have the best of both worlds, but as usual, white light skinned bigotry will strangle utopia in it’s crib.

  13. “Cesfront”

    Bah. The Dominicans are just jealous they couldn’t come up with a really cool paramilitary, like the Hatians had when the Tontons Macoutes were twirling machetes like batons and breaking skulls.

  14. I find it strange that both the article and the comments hear are devoid of reference to any sort of historical context.

    1. I didn’t notice Suthenboy’s contribution. Kudos to you, at least.

    2. Then talk about the entire history including when Haiti government invaded Dominican Republic and destroyed large parts of it.

      That is what solidified the idea of Dominican identity

      1. Then talk about the entire history including when Haiti government invaded Dominican Republic

        Well, yes. That’s my point. Let’s talk about how past events have to led to the present situation. The Dominicans didn’t decided to wake up one day and start rounding up Haitians.

    3. Mine was anecdotal based on the 20 Dominicans I’ve talked to!

    4. Due to inadequate roadways connecting the borderlands to major cities, “Communication with Dominican markets was so limited that the small commercial surplus of the frontier slowly moved toward Haiti.

      1. Hmm, comment got done ate.

        So the whole thing was caused by a lack of roadz?

    5. I find it strange that both the article and the comments hear are devoid of reference to any sort of historical context.

      There is a great deal of historical context in the article, including a reference to that very event:

      In 1936, Trujillo signed an American-brokered agreement to fix the border with Haiti. The following year, he sent soldiers to purge his newly marked territory of Haitians. Many thousands of Haitians and Dominicans ? who were often difficult to tell apart after centuries of commingling ? were killed. The massacre is still known among Dominicans as El Corte: the Cutting.

      1. I meant your article, not Katz’s. Including context like that would have led to a more productive conversation here, imo.

        1. “context like that would have led to a more productive conversation here, imo.”

          Oh please. no one reads the actual post. Its all headline+alt-text and then straight to hysterical over-reaction. who has time for *context*?

          1. I read HeMu’s link which was nicely generically informative.

            /cocks head

            The more you know.

        2. I meant your article, not Katz’s.

          That ain’t an article, it’s a coupla quotes & a link. An old-school blog post.

  15. WHERE MY ISLAND COUNTRY GONE

    1. WHYCOME CANYDIENS TLK IN CAPS NOW LIK AMERICANS?

  16. How can this be? My Dominican friend assures me that only in the US would a racist like Trump get to speak the way he does and be a contender for the Presidency.

  17. I also think this story simply serves to distract us from the real examples of institutional racism we have to endure every day in White Supremacist America

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