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Cynthia So

Advisor: Reader:

Hazel Carby Alicia Schmidt Camacho

December 18, 2006

A Senior Essay presented to the Faculty of the Latin American Studies program in partial fulfillment of the Bachelor’s Degree Yale College


Introduction, p. 1 The Roots of Migration, p. 5 Present-Day Consequences, p. 9 Poverty and Power Hierarchies, p. 17 Obstacles to Legal Migration, p. 22 State Responses to Migration, p. 28 Migrant Responses to State Policy, p. 34 Upcoming Trends in Dominican Migratory Politics, p. 36 Lingering Contradictions, p. 40 A Call From the People, p. 43 Non-Governmental Organizations: Successes and Limitations, p. 44 The Potential for Collective Action, p. 49 Photographs, p. 55 Works Cited, p. 65

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INTRODUCTION On the morning of May 13th, 2005, I witnessed a raid carried out by Dominican police forces in a community called Batey Libertad. I was staying with a family in the town and was awaken by loud shouts and banging on the doors. I thought the batey had flooded. It was my second visit to the community and the past week had been nothing but downpours. During my prior visit in March of the same year, I had gained a glimpse of the community, of the poverty that caused children to be orphaned, the makeshift homes, the bathing water next to the trash dumping ground, and the listlessness that came from having little to do. I returned because I was drawn to the spirit of the place, to the smiles despite hardship, the dancing amidst blackouts, and the sense of community that crossed lines of family and sometimes race. The day of the raid was the first time I saw this spirit crushed. When the police left with their first truckload of people, the silence they left behind was immense. The bachata music had been turned off, the children were nowhere to be seen, and even the roosters had slowed their crowing. The streets were emptied of all activity as individuals crowded into dark homes, waiting for the authorities to return. In the dark silence of that morning, the stories that emerged were frightening. A woman had been clubbed on the forehead with the butt of a pistol by an enraged police. An infant only two weeks old was shoved into the arms of a neighbor as her mother was taken away. The Dominican identification card of a university student was snapped in half when he protested to an officer that he was a Dominican citizen. Other documents were confiscated at the immigration office, leaving their owners no protection if the authorities returned to their homes. Next to me, a mother held back tears as she wondered whether her three children would be deported to Haiti, a country they had never seen.

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I cried on this day, feeling helpless and unfairly privileged. My white skin provoked catcalls and compliments from the Dominican police, not the anger and violence that my neighbors received. Being dark-skinned meant being Haitian; Haitians were not respected by the Dominican authorities. One Dominican woman cried with me on this day. The rest of the batey was silent and subdued. “Estamos acostumbrados de esto,” they explained. “Tiene que ser fuerte.”1 I could not have learned that day what it meant to be as strong as the individuals in Batey Libertad. However, I came away with the knowledge that something had to be done. Although there was much that I did not yet understand, I knew that the individuals around me needed their voices to be heard by a larger public. This project is the culmination of a year and a half of trying to understand why something as violent as this raid was allowed to occur in Batey Libertad, and what it means for the thousands of Haitian migrants and descendents of migrants living in the Dominican Republic. Batey Libertad is one of countless bateyes, communities that originally developed alongside the sugarcane when the first migrant laborers arrived in the Dominican Republic in 1884. These communities have changed to varying degrees, but remain nevertheless the most impoverished regions in the country. Although the number of Dominican-born individuals living in the bateyes has increased significantly over the years, a certain level of migration from Haiti is maintained. I returned to the Dominican Republic in June of 2006 with the goal of examining more deeply the patterns of migration from Haiti to the Dominican Republic, and the reasons why migration continues. I traveled to the border of the Dominican Republic to conduct interviews with representatives from several non-governmental organizations that worked with Haitian migrants, as well as individuals living in the town of Dajabón. I also met with various NGOs in 1

“We are used to this. One needs to be strong.”

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the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo. During this time, I maintained contact with several individuals who were very knowledgeable about Haitian-Dominican relations, including a documentary filmmaker and an Ex-General Consul for Haiti in the Dominican Republic. These experiences were crucial to my understanding of the larger picture of Haitian immigration to the Dominican Republic. Informal conversations shaped my understanding of the situation as much as formal interviews. In addition to speaking with representatives working with Haitian migrants, I focused a large portion of my research on talking with migrants themselves. I lived with a family in Batey Libertad for two months, conducting interviews with Haitians and Dominicans, while also learning about how they live on a daily basis. I carried out thirty-four formal interviews, twentyfive with individuals who were born in Haiti and the remaining nine interviews with Dominicanborn residents. These interviews, conducted in Haitian Creole and Spanish, covered the historical trajectory of each interviewee, asking about family, schooling, work, migration, documentation and current living conditions. The stories that emerged from these interviews repeated themselves time and again; I heard stories of economic hardship, of abuse by authorities, of the separation of families and of the difficulty in attaining documentation. I sensed an underlying wish that migration from Haiti were not a necessity. In piecing together the experiences of Haitian migrants living in the Dominican Republic, I could have used the stories of many individuals that I interviewed. The voices that I ultimately chose were those who most eloquently described the conditions and experiences of at least several others.2 In some cases, the most informative conversations were not interviews, but simply moments during my stay in which I was able to observe and listen to individuals speak about the


Interviews were conducted in June and July of 2006. Names have been changed to protect the individuals interviewed.

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daily challenges they faced. I learned about the determination of Lili not through a formal interview, but by accompanying her to Santiago when she was trying to start a business selling wholesale clothing she bought from Haitian merchants. On another day, I witnessed first-hand the irregular movement of migrants when two Haitian men jumped onto the back of the pick-up truck in which I was being taken from the Tilori marketplace to the town of Dajab贸n. In such instants, a shared experience heightened the understanding between us and the confidence by which stories could be shared. I have intentionally relegated my presence in this paper to the background in order to foreground the voices of others. Being able to include the voices of migrants I regard as integral to this project because these individuals are too often reduced to statistics in scholarly works. By incorporating these voices alongside historical accounts, I hope to provide a broader, more detailed and more nuanced picture of the very real causes and consequences of migration. Although I have not attempted to provide the reader with concrete policy recommendations, the essay does emphasize the many issues that must be addressed before any effective policy can be created. Most importantly, the human voices that speak in these pages serve as a reminder to us all of the many lives that will be affected by policy decisions that are made. When reading this paper, it is important to realize that the stories told here cannot capture the full depth and complexity of Haitian migration to the Dominican Republic. This project aims to begin an honest dialog about migration that does not fall back on ideological principles and rhetoric, but considers the effects of migration on individuals and communities. A sustained dialog with migrants themselves is a vital element of the search for appropriate responses and solutions to the problems they continue to face.

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THE ROOTS OF MIGRATION Every Tuesday and Saturday, the Haitian-Dominican border at Tilori fills with colors. The normally grim landscape of rusted tin roofs, dusty mules and rocky hillsides becomes a meeting place for people who have traveled hours to reach the marketplace. The International Highway that divides Haiti and the Dominican Republic now bridges the two countries with a river of people milling past each other, some carrying baskets of eggs to sell, others balancing sacks of rice on their heads, some sitting on the side of the road next to green mangos bursting out of burlap sacks, and others carrying nothing at all. On the Dominican side of the border, an old military lookout stands tall in its camouflage paint, emerging from a thick forest of trees. It is deserted and has been for at least the last few years. No one watches over this border crossing. The International Highway, in great need of repair, serves as a poor barrier to stem the tide of people. Looking out from amid the crowded wooden homes precariously built on the Haitian hillside, the lush green landscape of the Dominican Republic beckons with a promise of jobs and economic security. With a gross national income five times stronger than Haiti’s and an infant mortality reduced by one half, ‘Dominikani’ becomes more than a distant dream.3 For those who are willing to risk leaving all that they know behind, migrating to the Dominican Republic is a possibility with certain consequences. (Photos 1-6)

Individuals have been migrating in large numbers from Haiti to the Dominican Republic since the early 1900s, during the period of United States occupation of both sides of the island.4


Bridget Wooding and Richard Moseley-Williams, Needed but Unwanted (London: Catholic Institute for International Relations, 2004), 25. 4 The U.S. occupation in Haiti lasted from 1915 to 1934. In the Dominican Republic, the occupation lasted from 1916 to 1924.

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The growth of the modern Dominican sugar industry began in 1875, and although its early years saw a labor force of primarily Dominican nationals, dissatisfaction among laborers and conflicts with estate owners soon prompted the beginning of a large recruitment of foreign labor. At its inception, from as early as 1884, this labor arrived predominantly from the Leeward Islands of St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Anguilla, Montserrat, and St. Martin. Termed ‘cocolos’ by Dominicans, these laborers were recruited for individual estates at the beginning of the sugarcane season; the majority returned to their home countries at the end of the harvest. Without established support networks in the Dominican Republic, the labor of the migrants was cheapened by estate owners who maintained control over their living standards and transportation expenditures.5 Dominican estates benefited greatly from this labor, sustaining informal arrangements with recruiters despite protests from the Dominican elite who feared the erosion of Dominican values from a black influx of labor. From 1906 to 1913, Dominican lawmakers pushed new measures to encourage the participation of Dominicans in the sugarcane labor force. However, neither forced labor programs nor wage compensation succeeded in recruiting Dominicans to work in the plantations. Without viable programs to support their nativist sentiments, the influence of the Dominican elite diminished, allowing foreign recruitment to continue unchecked.6 As early as 1919, the first significant Haitian recruitment to Dominican plantations was recorded in official documents; by 1920, records show that the number of Haitians living on Dominican plantations had reached the level of all other migrants combined.7 The transition to Haitian labor was influenced by several factors, including a fall in real wages in the sugar 5

Cynthia Enloe, The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), 2. Enloe provides a useful commentary on cheapened, rather than cheap, labor. 6 Samuel Martínez, “From Hidden Hand to Heavy Hand: Sugar, the State, and Migrant Labor in Haiti and the Dominican Republic,” Latin American Research Review 34, no. 1 (1999): 63-65. 7 José del Castillo, “La inmigración de braceros azucareros en la República Dominicana, 1900-1930,” Cuadernos del Cendia CCLXII, no. 7: 47-55. See the table pullout between p. 48 and 49 and the tables on p. 53-55.

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industry and the increasing organization and assertiveness of the Leewardian labor force already employed. Thus, migrants from the Leeward Islands were discouraged from migrating to the Dominican Republic at the same time that sugar estate owners were searching for labor in other markets. Meanwhile, the U.S. occupation of both sides of Hispaniola set up an infrastructure for a cross-border migration that was supported and policed by new government forces. A series of executive orders promulgated by the U.S. controlled government established regulations in the Dominican Republic for the recruitment and control of migrants arriving to work in the sugarcane. These orders restricted entry to migrants sponsored by Dominican employers, prohibited migrants from leaving the plantations before the end of their term of contract, and mandated the return of migrants to their home country within a month after the harvest.8 In Haiti and the Dominican Republic, taxes were collected before and after crossing the border; for some time, the emigration tax made up the largest source of income for the Haitian government.9 Moreover, concerns about the ease by which migrants could cross the border were addressed by the adoption of measures that required every laborer to maintain a permit to reside in the Dominican Republic, which would be paid for by the company that recruited the migrant. Despite these measures, the clandestine movement of Haitian laborers continued through the poorly guarded land crossings. Neither Dominican officials nor the U.S. occupation government attempted to enforce the immigration legislation that had been created. Interdictions at the border and inspections at plantations were rare, if not nonexistent. The unofficial recruitment greatly benefited estate owners who did not pay taxes, did not need permits, and who could more easily exploit a vulnerable migrant labor force. Without documents, the recruited migrants had no recourse against abusive labor arrangements and had little ability to leave the

8 9

Refer to Castillo, 47-49 for information about the executive orders. MartĂ­nez, “From Hidden Hand to Heavy Hand,â€? 68.

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plantations. Furthermore, no labor regulations were enforced on the estates. A decline in labor conditions coincided with the beginning of the Haitian presence on Dominican sugar plantations and with a sharp fall in wages and a change to piece-rate payment.10 During the following decades, Haitian migration remained a constant force in the Dominican Republic and was supported by official measures on both sides of the border. The governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic signed agreements in 1952, 1959 and 1966 to encourage and regulate the recruitment of Haitian laborers for Dominican sugar plantations. Among the measures adopted, the employer was required to obtain documentation for every migrant recruited, draft a labor contract that established maximum hours of work, as well as retain one Dominican peso every week for each laborer, to be returned to the worker in U.S. dollars upon completion of the term. At this time, the employer was required to provide the laborer with return transportation to Haiti. Again, few of the measures were enforced, causing many laborers to be left stranded at the end of the harvest without the means to return to Haiti. Arbitrary raids were carried out that repatriated the correct number of migrants to Haiti, but failed to distinguish between those migrants who were bound by contract to leave and those who were not. Many were deported to Haiti who did not want to leave the Dominican Republic and were under no obligation to do so.11 Although no official number was established in the early agreements for how many Haitian migrants could be recruited to work in Dominican plantations, the cooperation of the Haitian government in facilitating this recruitment was implicit. In later contracts between the Dominican State Sugar Council12 and the Haitian government, direct exchanges of money were made to insure Haiti’s support. In an accord of 1974, seventy-five U.S. dollars were promised to 10

Martínez, “From Hidden Hand to Heavy Hand,” 66. Martínez, “From Hidden Hand to Heavy Hand,” 75. 12 Known in Spanish as ‘Consejo Estatal del Azúcar,’ or the CEA. 11

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the Haitian government for every migrant recruited, presumably to cover the administration costs of the emigration. That year, a total of 900,000 U.S. dollars were awarded to the government of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, far greater than the cost of any administrative work that may have been necessary. In an agreement two years later, 720,000 dollars were granted as a flat sum for the recruitment of 12,000 workers during the 1976-1977 harvest. The number of Haitian migrants recruited annually grew steadily from 12,000 to 19,000 during the years between 1974 and 1986, the year Duvalier fled Haiti with the money from the CEA.13 Considering the history of Haitian migration to the Dominican Republic, it should come as little surprise that irregular and often coercive migration continues to this day. Although the Dominican sugar plantations were privatized in 1999, thereby removing the intermediary force of the CEA, recruitment in Haiti has continued through agents hired by private Dominican companies to bring a set number of laborers to work in Dominican fields. These ‘buscones’ colaborate with border officials and transportation agents to bring busloads of undocumented Haitian migrants into the Dominican Republic. Although corruption is widespread and abuses are common, no Dominican administration has committed to enforcing the system of immigration that is theoretically in place. Clandestine movement of people continues to be a business from which many profit and private interest groups within Dominican politics continue to dominate the terms and conditions of the labor force.

PRESENT-DAY CONSEQUENCES It was late in the afternoon in June of 2006, and the market at Tilori had just dispersed. As the vehicle rounded the corner, it came upon two individuals standing alongside the road,


Jose Israel Cuello Hernandez, Contratación de mano de obra haitiana destinada a la industria azucarera dominicana 1952-1986 (Santo Domingo: Editora Taller, 1997), 160-174, 210-215, 230-234.

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carrying one small drawstring bag between the two of them. After leaving the marketplace, the truck had stopped twice to pick up passengers as it made its way down the long and winding road to Loma de Cabrera. The truck slowed, and the two men climbed into the back of the flatbed, positioning themselves precariously on the metal rim as the vehicle lunged forward. The two smelled strongly of the fields, of thick sweat that seeped into clothing and emerged from every pore. However, having just passed through a lush forest with no side roads or paths in sight, it was unclear from where these men had come. One man was younger than the other, with a boyish expression and an ease about himself as he settled into the rhythm of the vehicle. The other, though smaller in size, carried long years on his body and hunched over with his fatigue. The two sat in silence, with the sputtering sound of the weak motor in the background. When the first raindrops began to fall, the men relaxed from the suffocating heat of the day. However, as the raindrops fell faster they turned into projectiles that hammered against the two worn out bodies, transforming the landscape into a blur of motion as the vehicle picked up speed. As if to distract himself from the cold wind hitting his bare skin, the elder man spoke and began to reveal his story. They had set out early in the morning from their home in rural Haiti. Knowing that the journey would be long and difficult, they brought only a small bag in which they could safeguard the precious money they would need. They traveled with only the clothing on their backs; the rest of their lives remained behind if they should ever come home. The two men were brothers, leaving several younger siblings and a resilient mother who had worked for years to save up the money necessary to send these sons to find employment in the Dominican Republic. The men had traveled by foot to reach the spot on the side of the road where the truck had found them. They were on their way to Santo Domingo, where they hoped to reunite with an

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older brother and a sister who had gone before them. They had no way of knowing where to find these siblings, or whether or not they were still alive. Yet, the two men traveled without looking backwards, determined to make the most of this opportunity that life had given them. Without official documents, the men had heard it would be possible to arrange special seating on tour buses that traveled from the mountain town of Loma de Cabrera to the Dominican capital. They would pay 3500 pesos each to Caribe Tours, the largest bus company in the Dominican Republic. Known for its air conditioning and comfortable seating, Caribe Tours normally charged a fare of approximately 200 pesos.14 As the men reached their destination, the elder brother yelled to the driver to slow down. They climbed out of the truck and searched for forty pesos to pay for the ride. They paused a moment to wait for their change, and then they disappeared into the thick trees alongside the road. The truck had not yet reached Loma de Cabrera, but it was approaching the first houses of the town and the first of several military checkpoints. The men disappeared in the way that they had come, invisible to the greater public eye.

A common phrase along the Dominican-Haitian border states rightfully that the border thrives upon disorder. “A border without contraband is no border at all,� stated one immigration official during an informal conversation one night on his porch.15 Although many individuals complain about the Haitian immigration, the majority of people along the border benefit from the immigration in some way. The obvious beneficiaries are the agricultural estate owners who hire cheapened labor to work in their fields and the illegal traffickers who make their livelihood by transporting undocumented migrants. Additionally, the meager wages of military officials at

14 15

The exchange rate at the time was $1 US to 32 pesos (June 2006). Dominican customs official, Informal conversation with author, DajabĂłn, Dominican Republic, 14 June 2006.

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checkpoints across the country are supplemented by the bribes they receive from drivers of vehicles carrying undocumented individuals and from individual migrants who pass on foot. Dominican banks in the border town of Dajabón also benefit, as it is widely known that Haitians cross the border by day to deposit their savings in these banks.16 Moreover, as the mayor of a small town called Clavellina pointed out, small scale taxi drivers in the border region would lose all their business without the constant movement of Haitians from the border inland. “Without Haitians, the community would fall,” he asserted.17 Yet, although the irregular migration produces profit for many, it poses great risks for the migrants themselves. In January of 2006, twenty-four Haitians died from asphyxiation in the back of a closed truck as they were being transported from Haiti to Santiago, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic. Having paid between 2000 and 2500 pesos to be transported in the vehicle, they remained locked in the back of the truck for four days at the border waiting for an opportune moment to cross. By the time they reached the Dominican main road, many had died and their bodies were left abandoned alongside the road.18 Although this incident was brought to the attention of the authorities and several were arrested on charges of abuse, smaller incidents occur on a regular basis and are never reported due to the clandestine nature of the movement. The majority of undocumented Haitians complete the journey across the border by one of two means: walking through the countryside on foot or paying a vehicle to bring them inland. If completed on foot, the trip can take several days and is a grueling and dangerous affair. Tidjo, who now lives in Batey Libertad, describes his journey in a fire of words: “Lè mwen vini premye


Chio Villalona, Centro Cultural de Dajabón, Informal conversation with author, Dajabón, Dominican Republic, 14 June 2006. 17 Mayor of Clavellina, Interview with author, Clavellina, Dominican Republic, 19 June 2006. 18 Listin Diario, “Grupo de haitianos llevaba cuatro días dentro de furgón,” 12 January 2006.

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fwa, mwen vini a pye. Mwen pase anpil mizè. Kat jou map mache. Mwen dòmi nan kay bèf, mwen dòmi la. Tè a sèch; pa gen dlo. Kote met dlo pou bèf, se la map bwè dlo. Mwen mache jounnen avek swa. Lè m rive a pati de minuit, pou mwen dòmi. Mwen konn rankontre ak guard, yo pran lajan tou. Lè yo kenbe nou, yo vòlè lajan. Si ou gen mil goud, yo pran tout mil goud la; si ou gen senk san goud, yo pran tout senk san goud la.”19 The experience of Tidjo is not uncommon. Sometimes those who arrive from Haiti are so famished that they are taken directly to the nearest hospital to be re-hydrated. Without money or food, they rely upon friends and family members to care for them upon arrival. Those without prior connections among the resident Haitian community must depend upon the generosity of other migrants who understand their situation. Of the twenty-five individuals in Batey Libertad who answered the question, “Ki jan ou vin Dominikani?”20 five individuals asserted that they walked the entire journey and seven responded that they used a combination of walking and paid transportation. Five replied that they used only a paid vehicle, and four asserted that they had been transported directly by the company that recruited them.21 Whether one arrives on foot or by vehicle, the journey is dangerous, involving intense physical strain and the possibility of abuse by traffickers and military officials. Furthermore, the casualties of migration do not cease after the migrants reach the communities and plantations where they will work. Labor in the fields is strenuous work, leading many to premature retirement when their bodies break down. ‘Chita nap chita’ is the phrase used by Haitians to


“When I came the first time, I came by foot. I went through a lot of misery. I walked for four days. I slept in cattle stalls, I slept there. The ground was dry; there was no water. Where the cows drank water, I drank water. I walked through the mornings and the afternoons. When I arrived around midnight, I finally slept. Sometimes I ran into military officials. They took my money. When they find you, they steal all your money. If you have 1000 goud, they take 1000 goud; if you have 500 goud, they take all 500 goud.” Tidjo, Interview with author, Batey Libertad, 24 June 2006. 20 “How did you come to the Dominican Republic?” 21 The four officially recruited migrants arrived in the Dominican Republic during the earlier years of Haitian immigration, between 1966 and 1981.

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describe the pastime of sitting outside one’s home when one can no longer work.22 After years of exposure to agricultural chemicals, wading through bogs, and bending over under the hot sun, men and women develop chronic respiratory problems, migraine headaches, and a general weakness that is not uncommon among individuals in their thirties. Michele Wucker describes the difficult conditions found on Dominican sugar plantations in her book Why the Cocks Fight: When they arrived, the Haitians went to work cutting cane under the hot Caribbean sun. Their thin shoes hardly stood up to the deep piles of cane stalks under their feet. Dust from the fields filled their lungs and worked its way into the cuts the sharp cane spears etched into their arms, legs, and chests. Their lunch was the same as breakfast: nothing but the sweet juice they chewed from stalks of sugarcane. At night, the cutters returned to their bateyes, the islands of cement-block barracks far out in the cañaverales, waves of cane that go on for miles and miles outside of La Romana. If the Haitians were lucky, dinner was a bit of rice, maybe with a tin of sardines, eaten by starlight, since there was no electricity.23 The Dominican Republic used to be almost wholly a sugarcane producing country. In recent years, the sugarcane fields in many regions have been replaced by other crops, most notably rice, coffee and tobacco. Individuals from Batey Libertad work predominantly in the rice plantations that surround the batey for miles. They wake up before sunrise to begin their work while the fields are still cool from the evening. They wade through wet mud to pull weeds from the growing crops. When the crops are ready, they use machetes to cut the stalks near the roots for harvest. Heads remain invisible throughout the day, submerged in the tall grasses; backs remain bent under the weight of the work. (Photo 7) On a Tuesday afternoon, three young men from the batey observe as a team of laborers work in the rice field across the main road from the batey. They watch as their friends labor under the lazy eye of a Dominican overseer, a man who is paid significantly more than the 22

‘Chita nap chita’ means literally ‘we are sitting.’ Michele Wucker, Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola (New York: Hill and Wang, 1999), 94. 23

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Haitian laborers for a job that mocks their arduous work. One onlooker becomes defiant with time and shouts to the motionless Dominican overseer, “Bese! Bese!”24 The overseer turns his head slowly and stares at the onlookers. His wheat-colored skin contrasts with the black of the men around him. He holds his head up high, calm in the knowledge of his privilege. Although work is more available in the Dominican Republic than in Haiti, migrants remain in poverty, often paid less than half of the Dominican minimum wage.25 In spite of closeknit communities that Haitians build among themselves, they remain largely removed from any external networks of social support. When military officials arrive to carry out large-scale repatriations in their communities, the migrants are left without defense and are often subjected to great humiliations. In the days between May 13 and May 15 of 2005, two thousand Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent were deported to Haiti.26 Military officials entered homes at five in the morning, knocking down doors and taking people from their beds, often with only the clothing in which they had been sleeping. Individuals were crowded into trucks and brought to immigration headquarters, where some were allowed to return to their communities in the Dominican Republic and others were sent to Haiti. Of the approximately 200 individuals taken from the small village of Batey Libertad, twenty-six held official Dominican identity cards affirming Dominican nationality, eleven others had Dominican birth certificates that verified nationality by jus solis,27 and two held temporary residency papers that allowed them to remain legally in the country. Accounts from the first day of the raid asserted that individuals were hit


“Bend down! Bend down!” In a study conducted in 2002, migrants reported receiving 40 pesos or less for eight hours of work, equaling approximately $1.25 US. The Dominican minimum wage in 2002 was 80 to 100 pesos for an eight hour day. Plataforma “VIDA” – GARR, Tras las Huellas de los Braceros, July 2002, 54. See also: Frank Moya Pons, El Batey (Santo Domingo: Fondo para el avance de las ciencias sociales, 1986). 26 Amnesty International, “Open letter to the President of the Dominican Republic,” 8 March 2006. 27 According to the Dominican Constitution, anyone who is born in Dominican territory is a Dominican citizen. 25

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and harassed, identity cards were destroyed by military officials, and many families were torn apart leaving some children orphaned.28 Moreover, for some migrants the most difficult part of the repatriations was being forced to cross the border barefoot and in rags, with the humiliation of being seen by one’s peers in such a broken state.29 (Photo 8) Officially, the raids in May of 2005 should not have occurred. The American Convention on Human Rights, to which the Dominican Republic is a signatory, strictly prohibits the mass deportation of individuals.30 Moreover, Haiti and the Dominican Republic signed a protocol in 1999 that detailed the acceptable mechanisms of repatriation between the two countries.31 Among its measures, the protocol prohibits deportations between the hours of 6 pm and 8 am, it prohibits the separation of families and the confiscation of documents, and it requires that every individual be granted an official copy of a deportation order prior to being repatriated. Although the Dominican Republic clearly violated the protocol, Haiti also fell short of its responsibilities. According to the protocol, Haiti agreed to establish control along the Haitian-Dominican border to avoid the illegal movement of people and to double its efforts to provide Haitian documents to its nationals living in the Dominican Republic. The protocol was an empty gesture; neither country was truly committed to improve the situation for Haitians residing in the Dominican Republic.


See “Illegal People: Haitians and Dominico-Haitians in the Dominican Republic,” Human Rights Watch 14, no. 1 (2002), <> for an in-depth look at past deportations and other human rights abuses against Haitians in the Dominican Republic. 29 Gianni Dal Mas, Solidaridad Fronteriza, Interview with author, Dajabón, Dominican Republic, 19 June 2006. 30 American Convention on Human Rights, 22 November 1969, Article 22.9. 31 Protocol of Understanding on the Mechanisms of Repatriation Between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, 2 December 1999.

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POVERTY AND POWER HIERARCHIES Nonetheless, the vulnerability of Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic is not a simple matter of neglect and violation by immigration authorities on both sides of the border. The roots of migration reach far deeper into the problems of poverty and power hierarchies that push Haitian individuals to leave their home country despite knowledge of the dangers that await them. Although not all Haitians are aware of the risks involved in migrating to the Dominican Republic, many Haitians are conscious of these dangers and continue to migrate. Despite how simple it might seem for one to pick up one’s belongings in Haiti and cross the border into the Dominican Republic, most individuals are not so naïve as to think that the journey will be easy. Individuals speak of saving money for years to send one child to work in ‘Dominikani.’ They are precise in the amount of money they will need: 1560 pesos for a small truck to take them across the border and into the interior of the Dominican Republic, 400 pesos to bribe the officials they will meet along the way, and another few hundred pesos to carry them through their first weeks before they find a job. Although few individuals in Haiti remain in contact with those who have migrated before them, they understand the difficulty of life in the Dominican Republic. They understand that the wages will be low and the work will be strenuous. They understand that being undocumented makes them vulnerable to many abuses. Yet, they believe that a difficult life in the Dominican Republic is better than being trapped in Haiti without the possibility of finding a job or providing for one’s family. For many in Batey Libertad, ‘mizè’ is almost taken for granted as the reason one has migrated to the Dominican Republic.32 When asked, “Poukisa ou vin Dominikani?”33 many laugh


‘Economic misery.’ See Samuel Martínez, Peripheral Migrants: Haitians and Dominican Republic Sugar Plantations (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1995), 171-175, for a discussion on the significance and limitations of ‘mizè.’ 33 “Why did you come to the Dominican Republic?”

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at the ignorance of the question. A typical response is, “Sitiyasyon pa bon nan Ayiti.”34 Often, such a statement is sufficient, and the respondent moves on to more interesting aspects of his or her experience. However, sometimes a story is related that illustrates the truth of the assertion. “Papa m te mouri, m vin travay ka ede manman m.”35 Lamèsi crossed the border at the age of nineteen after his father died. With no other means for travel, he walked for three days until he reached the community of Batey Libertad. For many, the death of a parent is the initial trigger for one to leave Haiti; the eldest child assumes the role of provider, leaving his or her home to find work to support the family. Often, the only work available is in the Dominican Republic. For others, the decision to migrate is more complicated. Kristòf, now twenty years old, was born in the Dominican Republic when his mother was working in the sugarcane. As a young child, he returned to Haiti because his mother believed that an education in the Haitian school system would provide him with a more rigorous learning environment. However, at the age of ten, Kristòf’s family could no longer financially support his Haitian education. Because all schools in Haiti are private, Kristòf’s only option was to return to the Dominican Republic where he might study with his Dominican birth certificate. Kristòf’s situation might seem extraordinary, but it is not uncommon for families who would otherwise prefer to send their children to Haitian schools to send their children to the Dominican Republic when hit with a financial crisis. Unfortunately for Kristòf, his mother’s untimely death when he was fourteen precluded his completion of a primary education. Six years later, Kristòf is about to begin the Dominican equivalent of high school.36


“The situation is not good in Haiti.” “My father died. I came to work so that I could support my mother.” Lamèsi, Interview with author, Batey Libertad, 24 June 2006. 36 Kristòf, Interview with author, Batey Libertad, 12 June 2006. 35

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The stories of Lamèsi and Kristòf are mirrored by the stories of many others who have decided to migrate to the Dominican Republic for reasons related to the economic desperation found in Haiti. Although an individual may decide to migrate after the death of a parent or in order to attend a public school, ultimately it is the inability to provide for oneself and one’s family that is the inherent force that makes migration necessary. A 2002 study on Haitian migration conducted by the International Organization of Migrants and the Latin American Faculty of Social Science found that 90.1 percent of respondents came to the Dominican Republic for employment opportunities and better work conditions. 26.8 percent asserted furthermore that they came to reunite a family, and only 11.9 percent of respondents named political instability as a factor in their decision. Truly, economic motives are the overwhelming force pushing Haitians to leave their country.37 Yet, a distinction must be made between those who come to the Dominican Republic to work in any job that they can find, and those who come with a plan to support an existing business venture. This distinction tends to fall along gendered lines, with women more often arriving in the Dominican Republic with entrepreneurial goals. In the 2002 IOM study of Haitian migration, 5.9% of Haitian women responded that they arrived in the Dominican Republic to sell goods, compared to 0.7% of men. 2.2% of women responded that they arrived to buy, with 0.7% of men in the same category. The percentage of migrants coming to build a business in the Dominican Republic is small compared to those who arrive merely to find a waged job. However, their presence is significant, particularly in several regions of the country, most notably along the border in Dajabón and in the Dominican capital.


Encuesta sobre inmigrantes haitianos en la República Dominicana (Santo Domingo: IOM and FLACSO, 2002), 76.

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In DajabĂłn, the presence of Haitian vendors is unmistakable. Women carrying ladies underwear stand outside of restaurants hoping to sell a pair to the customers eating within. Others walk around with baskets of toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, soap and deodorant. Sometimes the women sell avocados in baskets above their heads. On street corners, young Haitian boys sell second-hand tennis shoes and Haitian rum. These women and children find a market in the Dominican Republic that is otherwise nonexistent in Haiti. Merchants can sell in a day what would otherwise take them a week to sell in Haiti. It is not uncommon for these vendors to travel daily across the border to and from the Dominican Republic, wading across the knee-deep Masacre River at dawn and at dusk. The merchant women are called madansara, named after the black finch bird whose flighty movement to find food for its young mirrors that of the women who cross the border to sell goods to provide for their families. (Photos 9-10) In Santo Domingo, the madansara are more permanent residents, living in hotel rooms out of which they sell their goods. Michele Wucker describes the activities of Haitian vendors who ship their products from Haiti to sell in the Dominican neighborhood of Little Haiti: An older woman, Marie, sits with her calculator amid piles of brassieres, underwear, shirts, and dozens of maroon bottles of Placenta Shampoo. A bottle is worth about 50 pesos in Port-au-Prince. The rumbling tap-taps carry the loads on the ninety-minute trip to the border, where they wait for days until the military customs officials allow them through after charging them another 50 pesos, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;tax,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; to allow the shampoo through. By the time it arrives in Santo Domingo, the bottle costs 125 pesos. Not all the merchants, however, bring their goods from Haiti. Wucker describes the activities of a merchant named Sister Boyer who buys her products within the Dominican capital: Two mornings a week, she leaves before dawn to buy clothes in the market or farther away at the industrial free-trade zones at the edge of the capital. (The industrial parks, by law only for export, are not supposed to sell clothes locally, but the little merchants can get seconds from them.) Then she hurries back before her own customers begin to arrive. Sister Boyer is a sharp bargainer, not one to let a customer get the better of her, and has gained a loyal following of Dominican shop owners who come here for her goods.38 38

Wucker, 86-87, 87.

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Within Batey Libertad, several women have opened businesses similar to those found in Little Haiti, but on a smaller scale. The majority of women living in the batey were involved in commerce prior to migrating to the Dominican Republic. These women sold clothing and food during their teenage years in Haiti before crossing the border. Yet, when they arrive in the Dominican Republic, most of these women begin waged work as agricultural laborers, since the work is more readily available. Only a few women come with the determination to continue and expand their commercial activities from the outset. Others set up small businesses only after years of fieldwork have taken a toll on their bodies. Although the pattern of buying and selling varies among vendors, many women in the batey buy clothing in bulk from other Haitian merchants in the Dominican city of Santiago.39 In the days after their trip to the city, these women display the clothing for sale on racks outside of their homes. Some women set up latenight stands to sell fried dough and plantains to hungry neighbors on a Saturday evening. Others sell toiletries, fruits and spices from wholesale vendors that pass periodically through the batey. Although the market in the batey is small, the customers are loyal and often have no other place to buy their basic necessities. Lack of documentation prevents many residents from leaving the batey at all, due to their fear of meeting authorities along the route. (Photo 11) The occupational trajectory for men in the batey is slightly different, as Haitian men generally do not take part in small-scale commercial activity. In contrast to the women, the large majority of men worked in small-scale agriculture before leaving Haiti, either on a family plot or on a small local farm. When these men arrive in the Dominican Republic, they usually find work in agriculture or construction, obtaining waged jobs on large Dominican plantations or smaller private plots.


Most Haitian clothing vendors receive cheap second-hand clothing in Haiti, donated from the United States.

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The roots of undocumented immigration and its consequences for present-day migration are complex, and the clandestine movement of people is lucrative for many. Undocumented migration continues precisely because so many have a stake in the movement. However, migrating by irregular means is not lucrative for the migrants themselves, who are made more vulnerable because of their irregular status. Clandestine migration is dangerous for migrants, yet they continue to migrate due to the desperate nature of their situation. Though it is clear why Haitians migrate, one might wonder why Haitians migrate predominantly through irregular means, particularly when this movement is so often destructive. What is preventing Haitians who understand the dangers of clandestine movement from taking a more secure route of legal immigration? Examining this question is crucial to the discussion of potential solutions to stem the irregular movement of people from Haiti to the Dominican Republic. Alternatives to illegal migration must be created in order to protect lives, provide order, and improve the conditions for Haitian migrants in the country.

OBSTACLES TO LEGAL MIGRATION In 1991, the number of Haitian migrants residing ‘illegally’ in the Dominican Republic was estimated to be around ninety percent.40 Today, the number appears to have changed little. Officially, there are less than 5,000 Haitian migrants registered as legal residents in the Dominican Republic. This number does not take into account those individuals who reside temporarily in the country with both a Haitian passport and a Dominican visa. There are currently between 6,000 and 8,000 Haitian students at universities in the Dominican Republic, the majority of who have entered the country on a tourist visa. There are thousands more who


Ramón Antonio Veras, “Contratos y reclutamientos de braceros: entradas clandestinas o repatriación,” in La cuestión haitiana en Santo Domingo, ed. Wilfredo Lozano, 113 (Santo Domingo: FLACSO, 1992).

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enter the country with a visa to work. The Haitian consulate estimates that about 50,000 visas are granted every year.41 Considering that the total number of Haitian migrants in the country is estimated to be between 380,000 and 500,000,42 it is possible to determine an approximate percentage of migrants who reside legally in the country. According to the numbers, a small one to two percent of migrants have achieved legal residency. This number reflects the enormous obstacles that migrants face when applying for residency. Residency involves a long process of security checks and physical examinations, including yearly payments that many cannot afford. Moreover, in order to begin this process, one must have arrived in the Dominican Republic under legal circumstances and have all oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s documents in order. Nevertheless, although very few are able to achieve formal residency, others can maintain short-term visas and passports. Haitians who hold visas and passports have legal authorization to remain in the country. Because the visas distributed by the Haitian consulate vary in the length of the authorized stay, it is impossible to determine how many migrants with visas are residing in the country at any given time. Yet, even at the high end of the estimate, not more than fifteen percent of the Haitian population in the Dominican Republic might hold a visa.43 Though the numbers are inexact, one reality is certain: a very small proportion of Haitian migrants live in the Dominican Republic under fully regularized conditions. The obstacles to


Edwin Paraison, Ex-General Consulate of Haiti in the Dominican Republic, Informal conversation with author, Santo Domingo, 13 July 2006. Confirmed in an email by Edwin Paraison, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Re: LF ET DIRECTEUR OIM SUR L'IMPORTANCE DE LA MIGRATION,â&#x20AC;? 24 September 2006, personal email (24 Sept 2006). 42 See Wooding and Moseley-Williams, 33-35 for further explanation of these estimates. Both figures cite a 1991 census by the Dominican National Office of Statistics, which estimates that 245,000 Haitians resided in the Dominican Republic during this year. Assuming a rate of growth similar to the 1970s and 1980s, this figure would rise to 500,000 in the year 2002. The 380,000 figure, however, assumes that half of the estimated 240,000 migrants deported during these years did not return to the Dominican Republic. 43 Calculations were performed in the following manner: total number of visas given out by the Haitian consulate each year = 50,000; total number of Haitian migrants in the country = 380,000. At the extreme, if each visa given out was a full year visa, during that year only 13% of Haitian migrants would hold a visa.

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attaining basic documentation are many, including financial limitations, inability to procure prerequisite documents, difficulty in finding transportation to cities where documents are processed, and the challenge of renewing documents every few years. A Haitian passport costs $70 U.S., renewable every five years, and must be processed in Port-au-Prince. A visa to come to the Dominican Republic may cost between $100 and $200 U.S., for a stay as short as three months or as long as one year. Granting of such visas is often an arbitrary affair, and the costs are outstandingly high. Considering that the gross national income in Haiti per capita was $450 U.S. in 2005, and that much of this income is concentrated in the hands of a small but wealthy Haitian elite, the average Haitian individual will have a difficult, if not impossible, time finding the money to migrate legally.44 Moreover, even if an individual can find the money initially to buy a passport and a visa, it is unlikely that he or she will find a job in the Dominican Republic that pays enough for him or her to renew the documentation every year. Nikòl arrived in the Dominican Republic in 2001, at the age of twenty-six. Already a mother of three, she had saved money from her job in Haiti selling clothing, and had bought both a passport and a visa for her travels. During this time, she made approximately 1500 goud each month, the majority of which went to maintain her family. It took her a full two weeks to pass through the bureaucracy in Port-au-Prince to attain a Haitian passport, having paid 2000 goud for the document.45 She paid an additional $120 U.S. to buy a three-month visa to enter the Dominican Republic.46 Despite the costs, Nikòl attained the necessary documents for her travel and arrived in Batey Libertad in 2001 to live with her aunt, who was already an established


World Bank, “World Development Indicators database,” 1 July 2006 <> (16 December 2006). 45 In 2001, the Haitian exchange rate was approximately 24 goud to $1 US. Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State, “2001 Country Reports on Economic Policy and Trade Practices,” February 2002, <> (Nov. 5, 2006). 46 As a point of comparison, a visitor from the United States who wishes to remain for three months in the Dominican Republic must pay $20 US total, $10 upon arrival and $10 upon exit (Summer, 2006).

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member of the community. Nikòl spent a large portion of her first three months in the Dominican Republic becoming familiar with the community and learning how she might set up a business in the future. She was unable to establish the business and returned to Haiti at the end of the threemonth period. Nikòl returned a second time to the Dominican Republic in 2002 with another visa. She started a business, making approximately 3000 pesos each month, over double what she earned in Haiti. As Nikòl explained, items sold faster in the Dominican Republic, allowing her business to grow more rapidly. “Si ou achte yon bagay, ou ka vann li pi vit, pi fasil. Rad mal achte, rad pou vann, soulye, sandal, mange, tout bagay.”47 Unfortunately, when Nikòl returned to Haiti the second time, her suitcase was stolen in transit along with all of her documents. Nikòl had hoped to return to the Dominican Republic within the year but decided at that moment that it would be too difficult to replace her stolen documents. Not only were her passport and visa gone, but also her Haitian birth certificate and identification card. Thus, the third time Nikòl returned to the Dominican Republic in 2003, she arrived ‘anba fil,’48 paying 1000 pesos to a driver who brought her from Haiti to Batey Libertad. Regrettably, without a passport or a visa, Nikòl has found commerce difficult, as she is unable to travel freely within the country. Nikòl’s story illustrates the tenacity of migrants who are willing to make sacrifices to come to the Dominican Republic. However, even in such cases, hardship often intervenes, making it difficult for individuals to maintain a regularized status in the country. Nikòl had the advantage of holding a Haitian birth certificate and identity papers before applying for further travel documents. Yet, many Haitians lack even such fundamental documents, particularly in the


“If you buy something, you can sell it faster, easier. I buy clothing to sell, shoes, sandals, food, everything.” Nikòl, Interview with author, Batey Libertad, 23 June 2006. 48 ‘Anba fil’ means literally ‘under the wire.’ It is a term used to describe undocumented immigration.

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most rural regions of Haiti. Without basic documents to begin with, the idea of working through a long bureaucracy to attain one’s passport and visa can be very daunting. In 2005, Solidaridad Fronteriza, an NGO along the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, began a campaign to illustrate the dangers of clandestine migration, and the safer alternative of legal migration. Among the materials distributed for the campaign were pamphlets that read: “Mejor pagar una visa que pagar con la vida. Un buscón no te salva la vida.”49 Solidaridad Fronteriza was firm in its message to migrants about the dangers of illegal migration and the advantage of migrating through legal mechanisms. They argued that even financially, legal migration could sometimes be advantageous for migrants, as the costs of bribing officials and hiring illegal transportation could be quite high, not to mention the costs when one is spontaneously deported to Haiti. Nevertheless, as asserted by Gianni Dal Mas, the Communications Director for Solidaridad Fronteriza, the campaign was a failure and little change had been observed.50 (Photos 12-13) When asked to comment on the failure of the campaign, Dal Mas explained that the obstacles that Haitians face are not merely financial. The inefficient bureaucracy in Haiti prevents many Haitians from holding even a birth certificate, which is a prerequisite for obtaining a passport. Moreover, in order to apply for any kind of documentation in Haiti, one must travel to Port-au-Prince, which is a difficult journey for those living in rural Haiti without access to good roads and transportation. Processing can take a few weeks for a simple document, which can be a problem for those who hold a job or who are the primary caretaker for a family. Additionally, many Haitians hold a deeply rooted distrust of government authorities, and are often reluctant to solicit documents under any circumstances.



“It is better to pay for a visa than to pay with one’s life. An illegal trafficker will not save your life.” Gianni Dal Mas, 19 June 2006.

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The implications of the failure of Solidaridad Fronteriza’s campaign are serious. Without viable legal mechanisms to migrate, individuals will find other ways to enter the Dominican Republic. Illegal immigration continues, along with the corruption and abuse that comes with it. Although individuals understand the dangers involved in illegal migration, they continue to put themselves at risk as long as the opportunities lie on the other side of the border. Dal Mas explained the situation clearly, “Todo el mundo dice que a ellos no les gusta a la República Dominicana; si ellos pudiesen regresar para Haití, lo harían hoy mismo. Pero no pueden; las condiciones son muy pobres allá y no pueden.”51 When examining the problems associated with irregular migration to the Dominican Republic, the high levels of poverty and insecurity in Haiti must be addressed. As long as individuals are desperate to leave their country, they will find desperate means to do so. Moreover, the demand for cheapened, undocumented labor in the Dominican Republic, and the facilitation of clandestine movement by recruiters, traffickers, and government agents are significant concerns that must be dealt with. Yet, even if changes are made to address these concerns, there needs to be a viable legal alternative for individuals who wish to migrate to the Dominican Republic from Haiti. Both Haiti and the Dominican Republic must play a role in creating such alternatives. The Haitian government needs to address the lack of infrastructure in Haiti that causes many within its own borders to remain undocumented. Haitian authorities should streamline the process of attaining Haitian documents and consider reducing the costs to facilitate the process for its citizens. Meanwhile, Dominican authorities must re-examine the reasons for charging over $100 U.S. for a visa that many Haitians will use to work at or below


“Everyone says that they don’t like the Dominican Republic, that if they could return to Haiti today, they would. But they can’t. The conditions are very poor there and they can’t.” Although Dal Mas romanticizes Haiti, as seen through the eyes of the migrants, he makes a distinction between the real Haiti with poor living conditions and the imagined, nostalgic Haiti that migrants wish to return to.

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minimum wage in agricultural labor or construction.52 Due to the large dependence of Dominican plantations on Haitian labor, the Dominican Republic should look toward restructuring its visa program to create a viable means for migrants to arrive safely and legally to complete this labor. If guest worker programs are to be considered, they need to be structured in such a way that short-term migrants are given full rights as human beings during the time they are working in the Dominican Republic.53

STATE RESPONSES TO MIGRATION Unfortunately, few effective measures have come from either side of the island, and those that have been passed are limited in scope and enforcement capability, and sometimes even questionable in legality. The agreements between Haiti and the Dominican Republic during the middle of the twentieth century were the first in a series of legislative acts that were meant to facilitate the orderly movement of Haitian laborers into Dominican plantations, but instead resulted in the increase in clandestine recruitment and employment by unscrupulous Dominican employers.54 Since the last of the formal accords in 1986, the Dominican Republic has passed additional laws, responding to pressure from international human rights groups to reduce the illegal trafficking and abuse of Haitian migrant workers in the country. In 1989, America’s Human Rights Watch initiated a campaign to expose the terrible conditions on Dominican plantations that employed Haitian labor, calling on the United States government to examine its role as a close trade partner with the Dominican sugar industry. Increasing pressure by U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills and the U.S. House of 52

The Dominican minimum wage in 2002 was 80 to 100 pesos for an eight hour work day. This amounts to between $2.50 US and $3.25 US. On the higher estimate, an individual working six days a week for a month would earn approximately $75 US in that time. Plataforma “VIDA” – GARR, 54. 53 Fair wages, decent living conditions, in-country mobility and the consideration for a migrant’s family should be incorporated, at the very least. 54 Refer to “The Roots of Migration,” 7-9, of this document.

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Representatives pushed the Dominican President Joaquín Balaguer to pass a new decree in 1990. Decree 417 reinforced the responsibility of Dominican estate owners to register all migrant laborers with appropriate labor contracts, as well as committed Dominican authorities to conduct periodic inspections on plantations in order to ensure the provision of a minimum standard of living.55 This measure appeased the U.S. government, which issued a statement in 1991 that the Dominican Republic was successfully implementing programs to improve the situation for migrant laborers in the country. In fact, however, the decree failed to improve conditions on the plantations due to its complete lack of enforcement. In 1991, massive deportations were carried out under the guise of human rights when Balaguer announced the repatriation of all foreigners under the age of sixteen or over sixty who were working in Dominican plantations.56 Many of those deported had been long-time residents of the Dominican Republic and were forcibly removed without time to gather their belongings. Wages were left unpaid, documents were ignored or destroyed, and individuals were arbitrarily taken based upon ‘Haitian appearance.’ Because Haitians are usually darker-skinned than Dominicans, racism often plays a role in the way that Haitian migrants are treated. Violence and abusive language directed against Haitians escalates due to racist tendencies, seen most notably during the raids of Haitian communities.57 The actions of Dominican forces surrounding the 1991


Joaquín Balaguer, “La presencia de nacionales haitianos, especialmente su condición de inmigrantes con permiso de residencia temporal o de jornaleros a término fijo,” Decreto 417-1990, 15 October 1990, <> (29 October 2006). 56 Joaquín Balaguer, Decreto 233-1991, 13 June 1991, <> (29 October 2006). 57 Other examples of racist tendencies: dark-skinned individuals are singled out on public buses to show documentation and are harassed by Dominican officials at checkpoints, even if they prove Dominican nationality. The Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo used racist ideology to further his consolidation of power, establishing a distinct racial hierarchy in the Dominican Republic that remains to this day. For more information, refer to: Ernesto Sagás, Race and Politics in the Dominican Republic (Florida: University Press of Florida, 2000). For a striking example of racist ideology within Dominican political thought, see also: Joaquín Balaguer, La isla al revés: Haití y el destino dominicano (Santo Domingo: Librería Dominicana, 1983), written by the three time (twenty-four years) Dominican president.

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deportations were a clear reflection of the true stance of the Dominican government behind its façade of concern.58 In the following decade, further measures were passed by Dominican lawmakers, in theory to protect Haitian migrants from illegal trafficking. In 1998, Law 344 established long prison sentences and large fines for those who participated in the illegal recruitment and movement of migrants. The law was replaced in 2003 by Law 137, which has subsequently been used by human rights groups, including Solidaridad Fronteriza, to conduct awareness campaigns against illegal trafficking.59 Although the law has been successful in provoking discussion around the topic within certain circles, it has failed to reduce the level of corruption among recruiters, traffickers and government agents. Between 1998 and 2001, not one person had been convicted in violation of the original Law 344.60 Since 2001, convictions have been just as scarce, despite the widely known fact that trafficking occurs on a regular basis. In addition to poor enforcement of regulatory measures to protect Haitian migrants, the Dominican Republic has participated in other less official practices to provide documents to recruited laborers on its plantations. Since the 1970s, the Dominican Republic has periodically allowed migrants working on Dominican estates to solicit a temporary work permit to remain on Dominican plantations for six months.61 These permits were generally paid for by the migrants, requiring between 800 and 1300 pesos. In theory, the granting of documents was a step in the right direction; in practice, however, the temporary work permits offered by the Dominican government merely promoted the illegal movement of Haitian migrants, providing a temporary


Human Rights Watch, Overview of human rights developments, Dominican Republic 2006, <> (29 October 2006). 59 Congreso Nacional, “Sobre tráfico ilícito de migrantes y trata de personas,” Ley No 137-03, 7 August 2003, <> (29 October 2006). 60 Plataforma “VIDA” – GARR, Tras las huellas de los braceros, July 2002, 45-46. 61 Beginning in 2004, the Dominican government began to gradually withdraw the work permits from the plantations.

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solution that only succeeded in obtaining funds for the Dominican treasury. As asserted by Gianni Dal Mas, the work permits were a form of legalizing an illegal situation. After crossing the border irregularly, traveling to the plantation using clandestine transportation, and being unofficially contracted by an employer, the migrant could buy a temporary identity document from the Dominican government, which did not allow free movement within the country and was not universally recognized as an official document. More often than not, the temporary work card was disregarded by Dominican authorities, confiscated or destroyed. Furthermore, the document expired after six months, after which it was the migrant’s responsibility either to leave the plantation and return to Haiti, buy a new card for another six months, or remain undocumented on the estate. Truly, no option was ideal, nor prevented exploitation. “Qué era ese carnet?” asked Dal Mas. “Ese carnet era la más grande mentira del mundo.”62 The temporary work card remains a document that many Haitian migrants hold onto as indication of their documentation within the country. During interviews, several respondents rifled through wallets to present their card, still intact years after the expiration date. For some, the work permit illustrated a great humiliation, when it was taken away, destroyed during raids, or simply ignored. For others, the document presented hope, as it had given some parents the opportunity to declare their children as Dominican citizens. In recent years, however, the work card has been more a source of frustration than hope, as recent Dominican administrations have begun to withdraw the work permits and restrict nationality claims to only children born of two Dominican parents in the Dominican Republic. According to the Dominican Constitution of 1865, any child born in Dominican territory is granted nationality on the basis of jus solis. In 1908, a clause appeared in the Constitution restricting nationality for those children born to individuals considered to be in transit. The 62

“What was the work permit? This work permit was a great lie.” Gianni Dal Mas, 19 June 2006.

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Constitution states: “Son dominicanos: Todas las personas que nacieron en el territorio de la República, con excepción de los hijos legítimos de los extranjeros residentes en el país en representación diplomática o los que están de tránsito en él.”63 Legally, being in transit signifies that an individual has a destination outside of the country through which one is passing. As explained by Pedro Ubiera, a Dominican scholar concerned with migratory politics, “ ‘De tránsito,’ literalmente significa ‘ir de paso’ en este caso, por el territorio . . . es decir, la situación en la cual se efectúa el traslado de un lugar a otro sin haberse llegado al destino.”64 Yet, Dominican authorities have used this clause to deny Dominican citizenship to the children of undocumented residents in the Dominican Republic, arguing that their undocumented status implies their transitory nature. In terms of pure semantics alone, such actions may be bordering on the unconstitutional. For families of Haitian migrants living in the Dominican Republic, the ramifications of such Dominican claims are clear. Families are split between those children who are able to obtain a Dominican birth certificate and those who are not. During the 1970s and 1980s, when Dominican authorities granted temporary work permits liberally and respected them more readily, a common practice among birth registration officials was to provide Dominican birth certificates to those children born of parents who held a temporary work card. In the Dominican Republic, a Dominican birth certificate is sufficient to indicate Dominican nationality. Thus, for children who hold a Dominican birth certificate, it is a simple matter to obtain full Dominican citizenship upon the completion of adult age.


“Are Dominicans: All individuals who were born in Dominican territory, with the exception of the legitimate children of foreign residents in diplomatic representation in the Dominican Republic or those who are in transit in the territory.” Asamblea Nacional, “Constitución política de la República Dominicana,” 25 July 2002, <> (24 November 2006). 64 “In transit means literally to pass through, in this case through the territory; that is to say the situation in which one moves from one place to another without having arrived at one’s destination.” Pedro Ubiera, “Derecho y políticas de migración,” Estudios sociales 30, no. 108 (1997): 79.

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The family of Miriana is a striking example of the consequences of Dominican policy during the era of official recruitment and the granting of temporary work cards on Dominican sugarcane plantations. Miriana, though only forty-six years old, carries her age heavily after years of working in agricultural labor. She is one of the women for whom ‘chita nap chita’ has become a constant reality. Chronic headaches and respiratory difficulty hinder her activities. Miriana is the mother of six children between the ages of four and twenty-four. The eldest two children hold Dominican birth certificates and the Dominican cédula, which indicates Dominican citizenship. The eldest child is now studying accounting at the state university in Santiago, with the help of a scholarship fund. Miriana has a third child who holds a Haitian birth certificate and lives with his godmother in Haiti. However, Miriana’s three youngest children lack formal documentation of any kind, which has posed problems for schooling and travel through the country.65 In order to enroll in a Dominican school, a child must have a birth certificate. Although not necessarily a Dominican birth certificate, the difficulty in obtaining Haitian papers makes it practically impossible for one living in the Dominican Republic to solicit Haitian documentation.66 In Batey Libertad, children without birth certificates can attend the local school within the batey, which reaches the level of middle school. However, in order to attend high school at one of the Dominican public schools, a student must obtain further documentation. The process to obtain such documents is a difficult and costly procedure, which in many cases involves illicit maneuvers. Many children do not undergo this process and therefore remain at a primary school level of education. 65

Miriana, Interview with author, Batey Libertad, 8 July 2006. Children of Haitian parents born in the Dominican Republic can solicit a Haitian birth certificate and become Haitian nationals by the Haitian Constitution. The practical difficulty in doing so prevents the majority of individuals from taking these steps, particularly when considering that even after attaining the papers, the newborn child will also have to solicit further documentation from the Dominican consulate, such as a visa, in order to remain legally in the Dominican Republic. 66

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In Batey Libertad, the divide between children who have birth certificates and those who do not corresponds loosely with a change in Dominican policy that occurred when sugarcane was removed from the batey region in 1986. When the sugarcane was removed, Dominican officials no longer accepted the temporary work permit as sufficient documentation for a parent to declare the birth of his or her child. Thus, many children in the batey who were born after 1986 lack documentation and therefore face greater challenges as they grow up in Dominican society. Rather than be accepted as first-generation Dominicans, these children inherit their parents’ irregular status, making it immensely difficult for them to break the cycle of poverty and social isolation, which is thus maintained throughout their families and their communities.

MIGRANT RESPONSES TO STATE POLICY Nevertheless, when official policy leaves no viable alternative for migrants, they devise their own means to confront the situation. Haitian migrants living in the Dominican Republic have confronted the problem of obtaining birth certificates for their children through several mechanisms. Undocumented parents have enlisted the support of documented godparents to declare a child. Additionally, when a child with a birth certificate dies, individuals within the community arrange to buy the birth certificate from the deceased child’s family, thus utilizing the community’s resources in the most efficient manner. Yet, although many families are successful in such maneuvers, these practices and procedures have left their mark upon individuals and place many at a disadvantage. Jan explains how he decided to ask his child’s godfather to declare his son, and why this decision has created difficulties for his family. “Tú sabes, pasa mucha calamidad. Yo no quiero que le pasa mucha calamidad igual como yo. Entonces, yo pagué a uno que tiene documentos dos mil pesos para que me consiga documentos. Me salió dos mil quinientos pesos. Él fue como

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el padre. Entonces, en el documento, el nombre mío no anda en esto.”67 Jan remembers the 2005 raids that took his wife away from the community and how he looked for his wife in Haiti to bring her back to the batey. He remembers this moment as he asserts, “Si yo iba allá en Haití para mi hijo, yo no puedo venir con él. Yo puedo llamarle a su padrino para que vaya a buscar el muchacho. Mientras que no puedo traerlo porque tú sabes, no fue el nombre mío que está apuntado.”68 In emergency situations, Jan’s name would have little effect when trying to convince authorities to release his child from custody. Jan’s child, however, is luckier than others in the batey, for he will grow up with a name that is his own and a birth certificate that protects him within the Dominican Republic. Luis, Lili and Kodèm, three siblings who were also born in Batey Libertad, are not so lucky. Born to a young mother and an absentee father, these children never obtained identity documents upon their birth. Luis’s given name was Manouli, a name that has since been forgotten by all but his family. At the age of fifteen, Manouli solicited a birth certificate from the family of a dead teenager named Luis, in order that he might attend the high school in the nearby town. Although he will always be called Papo by his closest friends, he began high school with a new name and a new identity. Luis’s acquired document has allowed him to graduate from high school and obtain a job working in the free trade industrial zone near the batey. Luis’s younger sister followed close behind him, soliciting a document at the age of twenty, from the family of a girl whose real age was thirteen. Lili bought the birth certificate on credit from a man in the community, and two years later still owes 6000 pesos for the transaction. Lili laughs when she explains that she is still fifteen years old. She must wait three 67

“You know, we face a lot of hardship. I don’t want my son to face as much hardship as I have. So I paid a man two thousand pesos to get my son’s documents for me. I ended up paying two thousand five hundred pesos. He went as the father. Thus, my name does not appear on the document.” Jan, Interview with author, Batey Libertad, 29 June 2006. 68 “If I went to Haiti for my son, I would not be able to return [to the Dominican Republic] with him. I can call his godfather to look for the child, but I can’t bring him myself because my name is not included on the document.”

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years before she reaches adult age in the Dominican Republic. She hopes to finish high school, although her immediate goal is to pay off her debt with a small business of buying and selling clothing in the batey. Yet, her inexperience with commerce has hindered this goal; after her first trip to the market in Santiago, Lili was left 600 pesos further in debt. The youngest sibling of the three, Kodèm, still lacks documentation of any kind. Kodèm is a serious student, intelligent and dedicated to his work. With an official letter written by a local human rights lawyer, Kodèm was granted special permission to attend the high school in the nearby town of Esperanza. He succeeded in graduating from high school and is looking forward to attending the university in Santiago. In recent months, Kodèm has continued visits to the human rights lawyer, trying to get his documents in order for enrolling at the university level. Kodèm is making plans to solicit a Haitian birth certificate from the consulate in Santo Domingo, after which he will also solicit a Haitian passport that will allow him to study at the Dominican state university. The process may take months or even years, and will require a significant amount of financial support. Although Kodèm cannot afford this maneuver, he has the support of his family members, who are determined to see him complete his education. Kodèm’s older brother Luis has offered to work and give up his own education just to see this happen.

UPCOMING TRENDS IN DOMINICAN MIGRATORY POLITICS As individuals like Kodèm and Luis struggle to make it through a system that does not have their best interest in mind, new children are being born without birth certificates and will face even tougher circumstances as Dominican authorities become less willing to work with Haitian migrants. The current Fernández administration has been silent in the face of claims of human rights violations committed by the Dominican state regarding the denial of Dominican birth certificates to children of Haitian descent. In October of 2005, the Interamerican Court of

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Human Rights ruled on a case of two young girls of Haitian descent who were denied Dominican birth certificates despite the fact that both parents presented Dominican identity papers and hospital documents stating that the children had been born in the country. The Court ruled that the actions of the Dominican state were unconstitutional and placed the children in a situation of continued vulnerability. The court tribunal issued the following remark: “El estatus migratorio de una persona no puede ser condición para el otorgamiento de la nacionalidad por el Estado . . . la condición del nacimiento en el territorio del Estado es la única a ser demostrada para la adquisicíon de la nacionalidad.”69 The Dominican Republic was given six months to acknowledge the ruling and begin reforms in the country. Yet, the decision was not acknowledged publicly until after the six month period and no official reforms had been discussed. A published Supreme Court report in January of 2006 seemed an indicator of the Dominican Republic’s stance.70 The Supreme Court report did not mention the October decision; however, a lengthy discussion of migratory politics in the document responded directly to the allegations of the ruling, using an argument of national sovereignty and international trends to justify the state’s actions. In the report, the Supreme Court directly denied that the state’s actions were a result of discriminatory policies based on


“The migratory status of a person cannot be a condition for the granting of nationality by the State . . . the fact of being born within the nation’s territory is the only required condition for acquiring nationality.” “Corte Interamericana de los Derechos Humanos falla a favor de derechos niñas y niños,” Espacio de comunicación insular, 7 October 2005, <> (21 November 2006). 70 In June of 2006, 8 months after the decision, the Dominican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Morales Troncoso, announced that the Dominican government would take measures to make the necessary reforms. Skepticism from the human rights civil sector prompted an open letter to President Leonel Fernández on September 11, 2006, reminding him of the importance of the government’s upcoming actions. The letter can be found: “Organizaciones envían carta al Presidente de la República Leonel Fernández,” Espacio de Comunicación Insular, 11 Sept 2006, <> (29 October 2006). Further information about the Interamerican Court decision can be found: GARR, Informe: Migración haitiana y derechos humanos en 2005, 28 October 2006, <> (29 October 2006). Currently, the October 2005 decision is being reconsidered in the court, based on allegations from the Dominican government that the girls were not born on Dominican territory. “U.S. ambassador calls on Dominican Republic to respect Haitian migrant rights,” Associated Press, 22 November 2006.

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“raza, color, creencias u origen,”71 and used the protests in France and the hardening against undocumented immigrants in the United States as examples of a global trend to re-examine immigration policy. In direct conflict with the October decision, the Supreme Court asserted that only children of permanent residents would be granted citizenship, reminding that the regulation and control of people entering and exiting the country was an “inalienable y soberano” right of the Dominican State.72 Since January of 2006, the Dominican Republic has moved father from the October decision, entering a stage of constitutional reform that promises to change the migratory politics of the Dominican Republic. President Leonel Fernández has stated publicly that he plans to reform the jus solis clause of the Constitution, in order to clarify that children of undocumented immigrants will not be granted Dominican citizenship. This action follows legal reform already in place from 2004 that states that all non-residents in the Dominican Republic are considered to be in transit for the purpose of determining the nationality of their children. The new Law 285 affects Haitian migrants most of all, considering the enormous hurdles these migrants face in order to attain residency. Fernández is moving away from jus solis at the same time he is moving toward a jus sanguini approach to nationality; he has proposed to extend nationality to children born to Dominican nationals living outside of the country, without requiring that these families solicit the citizenship. In recent speeches, Fernández has referred to a great wall – “un muro de 700 kilómetros” – being constructed in the United States to stem undocumented immigration; it is unclear whether Fernández hopes to build a similar wall in the Dominican Republic.73


“Race, color, beliefs or origen.” “Inalienable and sovereign.” Suprema Corte de Justicia, República Dominicana, “A Modo de Informe Anual,” 7 January 2006, < 20Poder%20Judicial%202006.pdf> (21 November 2006). 73 “A wall of 700 kilometers.” The Dominican Republic has publicized plans to build a strong military force along the entire 391 kilometer border with Haiti. 1000 troops could enter the region as soon as January 2007. “U.S. ambassador calls on Dominican Republic to respect Haitian migrant rights,” Associated Press, 22 November 2006. 72

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Nevertheless, it is clear that Fernández’s “Revolución Democrática en la República Dominicana” plans to leave many individuals behind. Fernández has yet to respond to what will happen to the thousands of undocumented Haitian migrants already working and living in the country.74 The ramifications of Fernández’s pointed constitutional reform are serious for the Haitian migrants currently living in the Dominican Republic. Without the opportunity to declare their children as Dominican nationals, their families will be stuck in permanent illegality. The stories of Luis and Lili will become success stories within communities that are struggling to survive with dignity in the Dominican Republic.75 Furthermore, what will be the impact of such actions on the Dominican Republic itself? Over the past century, the Dominican Republic has relied on the presence of Haitian migrants to complete the work that Dominicans are unwilling to do. The employment of undocumented Haitian labor has made millions of dollars for the Dominican agricultural industry. If the Dominican Republic succeeds in closing the door on Haitian immigration, who will come to replace the labor that they once completed? The actions of the Dominican Republic are alarming not merely on the basic level of migrant rights; they are of concern because of the contradictory message that they promote. In truth, it is improbable that Haitian labor will be replaced on Dominican plantations. As long as Haitian labor continues to be needed on Dominican plantations, it seems likely that a certain 74

“Democratic Revolution in the Dominican Republic.” “El discurso del Presidente: La Nacionalidad traba la democracia,” Espacio de comunicación insular, 31 October 2006, <> (21 November 2006). 75 Note of Addition (March 2008): Since 2007, the Dominican central government has made it a policy to deny the legalization of the Dominican birth certificate of any individual with one or both parents of Haitian nationality, regardless of whether these birth certificates have been accepted and notarized in the past. Currently countless individuals are in a state of suspended citizenship – able to vote and hold a Dominican cédula, which many had been granted before the recent tightening of citizenship requirements – yet unable to solicit a new notarized birth certificate for purposes such as attending university, soliciting a passport, or filing for a marriage certificate. Many cases have been brought to the administrative council of the Central Electoral Board in order to be granted authorization to move forward with the document processing, yet the large majority of cases remain unattended, the number growing since June of 2007.

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level of clandestine migration will be permitted in order to allow Dominican businesses to survive. Thus, while maintaining the façade of a hard-line immigration policy, the success of this policy is contingent upon the continuation of a baseline level of illegal trafficking. The probability of such an outcome is great if one takes Dominican historical responses to the problem as an indication of the future.

LINGERING CONTRADICTIONS During the early 1990s, the Dominican Republic faced a hostile international environment when human rights groups began to denounce the government for its lax policy on the exploitation of undocumented Haitian labor. In 1991, President Balaguer responded by forcibly deporting six to seven thousand Haitian migrants, claiming that the repatriations were to ensure that those working on Dominican plantations were of the proper age. Balaguer drew a hard-line approach to irregular Haitian immigration; yet at the same time, he reopened the border months later to allow many of the same migrants the opportunity to return to the Dominican Republic to continue their work in the sugarcane and other crops. What Balaguer understood was the dependence of the Dominican agricultural industry on Haitian migrant labor. Although he could arbitrarily deport the undocumented migrant population, he could not do so without allowing their subsequent return. Jozèfa remembers the incident clearly. In June, the authorities entered Batey Libertad and deported the majority of its residents, sending them directly to Haiti on overcrowded buses in the pouring rain. In November of the same year, Balaguer reopened the border, such that she and the others could return to the Dominican Republic as if nothing had happened. Jozèfa returned, although she recalls that many of her peers remained in Haiti because of the humiliation of being

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sent away.76 The Dominican sugar and construction industries faced severe labor shortages during the following year.77 The history of the Dominican Republic’s ambivalent attitude toward Haitian immigration reaches farther back to the era of dictator Rafael Trujillo, when the level of animosity toward Haitian migrants was at its extreme. However, even during this era, the need for Haitians on Dominican plantations was recognized. Trujillo’s rule from 1930 to 1961 was filled with nationalist rhetoric about the ‘pacific invasion’ of the Haitians, who would degrade the Dominican Republic’s cultural and racial landscape. During his rule, Trujillo devised a racial hierarchy in the Dominican Republic, by which Dominican citizens would be labeled blanco, trigeño, indio or indio oscuro78; black was reserved for Haitians or those of other Afro-Caribbean descent. Manipulating nativist fears, Trujillo reconstructed an old anti-Haitian sentiment in order to build support for his nationalist regime.79 With these tactics, Trujillo fomented the conditions for a 1937 massacre of approximately 25,000 Haitians living along the Dominican-Haitian border. Trujillo justified this massacre in the name of the protecting the patria, the motherland. Nevertheless, Trujillo knew that the Dominican plantations relied on a large supply of Haitian labor. During the 1937 massacre, Trujillo spared the thousands of Haitians living on Dominican bateyes and plantations. Samuel Martínez, a scholar of Haitian labor and migration, describes the situation well: Regardless of the dictator’s intentions, no more chilling way could be imagined of conveying to Haitian immigrants the message that the sugar bateyes would be their only secure place on Dominican soil . . . Even as wealthy individuals and corporations benefited from cheap, compliant Haitian labor, government propaganda against Haitians 76

Jozèfa, Interview with author, Batey Libertad, 13 June 2006. Atlapedia Online, “Dominican Republic,” <> (25 November 2006). 78 White, wheat-colored, Indian, dark Indian. 79 A repressive Haitian occupation of the Dominican Republic from 1822 to 1844 lingers in Dominican national memory, promoting continued anti-Haitian sentiment. Despite the Dominican Republic’s long colonization by the Spanish, the country celebrates its independence from Haiti, not Spain. 77

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served to deflect Dominican workers’ anger away from the national bourgeoisie and U.S. neoimperialism . . . a sizable Haitian presence was tacitly tolerated, even as antiHaitianism was used for sometimes unexpected political ends.80 In fact, Trujillo was one of the largest beneficiaries of the Haitian labor, as he gained control of two thirds of the Dominican sugar estates by the time of his death in 1961. By building a strong infrastructure along the Dominican-Haitian border, Trujillo’s military was able to interdict the majority of undocumented Haitian migrants attempting to cross the border. Rather than return the migrants to Haiti, Trujillo’s army shipped them to work on Trujillo’s sugar estates. In this way, Trujillo gained almost complete control of the Haitian migrant labor supply; combining this control with intimidation tactics and high export taxes, Trujillo acquired many Dominican estates during the early 1950s. In 1952, while still publicly denouncing the use of Haitian labor, Trujillo quietly signed an international accord with Haiti to begin Haitian sponsored recruitment to Dominican plantations. In the following decades, this recruitment would become an official policy of the Dominican government, and many years after Trujillo’s assassination, his legacy would remain in the continued actions of the Dominican State Sugar Council. The fact that one of the greatest opponents to Haitian migration was also one of its greatest beneficiaries resonates with the contemporary situation. As Dominican authorities become stricter on irregular immigration, it remains to be seen whether legal alternatives will emerge to allow Haitian migrants to enter the country on other terms. While anti-Haitian rhetoric continues to fill Dominican politics, it is unclear whether Dominican industrialists will find new sectors of the population to fill their continued need for labor. If history is at all an indicator, the Dominican Republic is in a difficult situation with the real possibility of repeating the same mistakes. Thus far, the Dominican Republic has continued to place the burden of migration on 80

Martínez, “From Hidden Hand to Heavy Hand,” 70, 71-72.

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the migrants themselves without addressing the factors that make this migration necessary. Furthermore, the Dominican Republic has remained silent on legal alternatives, while avoiding the fact that countless undocumented Haitians remain disenfranchised and stateless within the country.

A CALL FROM THE PEOPLE Although skirting the issue of Haitian migration has worked in the past for the Dominican government, it appears that it will be insufficient as individuals continue to become conscious of their rights within a larger international framework of human rights. For decades, the Dominican Republic has stayed far away from the border region it shares with Haiti, leaving this region the least developed within the nation. For one to travel between two towns along the western border, it is often easier to travel via Santo Domingo, which is on the far eastern part of the island. The roads along the border are so damaged that travel, even by motorcycle, is difficult. The International Highway, narrow, unpaved and incomplete in many sections, is a proper indicator of the state of infrastructure within this region. In August of 2006, a man named Ángel Sosa decided to protest the state’s abandonment of his hometown border region. In the recent congressional election campaigns, the government had begun several projects in the region of Dajabón, including paving a road that would stretch between Dajabón and Loma de Cabrera. However, the moment the elections concluded, the projects were left unfinished and deserted. Sosa set out on foot from Dajabón on August 4th, traveling eleven days across the country to Santo Domingo with a heavy wooden cross on his back to protest the government’s inaction. Sosa was interned for one night at a hospital in La Vega due to pulmonary difficulties, yet he continued the journey of 305 kilometers to reach the

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Dominican capital. Sosa became “el Hombre de la Cruz,”81 an inspirational figure for the many who had also witnessed the unfinished promises of the Dominican government to its people. Upon Sosa’s arrival in the capital city on August 15th, Sosa was met by two representatives from the Fernández administration who assured him publicly that the government projects in the border region would be recommenced at the end of the month. Even more than the outcome of the situation, the real significance of the protest was the hope that it provided that the government would listen to organized action coming from its people.82 An unanswered question remains whether the government will listen when the call does not come from a Dominican, but from the masses of Haitian immigrants who reside in the country. Unfortunately, no such collective action has surfaced to prompt a government response. Nonetheless, numerous non-governmental organizations have developed in order to address the difficult conditions faced by Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic. These NGOs are attempting to serve needs left unmet by the government, and are important actors to promote change within an otherwise stagnant environment.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: SUCCESSES AND LIMITATIONS Several organizations working with undocumented Haitian migrants are the following: SJRM, Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados y Migrantes; MUDHA, Movimiento de Mujeres DomínicoHaitianas; ACMDH, Asociación Comunitaria de Migrantes y Domínico-haitianos; and Fanm Vanyan.83 These NGOs span the range of organizational structure, from a large international organization with a regional focus in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, to a small grassroots


“The Man of the Cross.” “El Gobierno admite ante el Hombre de la Cruz que todas las obras de las provincias están detenidas,” Clave Digital, 16 August 2006, <> (21 November 2006). 83 Jesuit Services for Refugees and Migrants; Movement of Dominican-Haitian Women; Community Association of Migrants and Dominican-Haitians; Valiant Woman. 82

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organization focusing on the needs of one local community. These organizations are addressing important concerns within the migrant community, including assisting individuals to solicit documentation, providing legal advocacy, addressing public health concerns, as well as educating migrants about their rights, responsibilities and available resources. SJRM is an international organization with offices in Europe, South America and the Caribbean. Within the Dominican Republic, SJRM has several branches, including that of Solidaridad Fronteriza, its branch along the Dominican-Haitian border. At Solidaridad Fronteriza, a principle project has been its awareness campaign about the dangers and negative consequences of illegal immigration. During raids and other difficult moments for Haitian migrants, SJRM acts as an advocate, releasing documented individuals from custody and reuniting families that had been separated. During the May 2005 raid in Batey Libertad, SJRM provided milk and other necessary products for a child whose mother was taken during the raid. At its office in the capital, a large role of SJRM is to help undocumented migrants pass through the often confusing process of attaining resident status. MUDHA is an organization similar to SJRM in terms of its breadth within the Dominican Republic. Founded by a Dominican-Haitian woman, MUDHA works primarily in thirteen batey communities, providing health care education and workshops about migrant rights and resources. MUDHA trains a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;promotora comunitariaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; within each community, a woman who provides important leadership to continue MUDHAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s projects in the region. Along with SJRM, MUDHA has been involved in pressuring the government to change its policies with regard to Haitian migrants. Denunciations are frequent, and although they have so far produced little change, MUDHA is determined to continue speaking out until the government begins to listen. Most recently, MUDHA was fundamental in pushing forward the October 2005 Interamerican Court decision.

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Sonia Pierre, the founder of MUDHA, was awarded on November 17th, 2006, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Human Rights, for her dedication to combating the challenges faced by Haitian-Dominicans in the Dominican Republic. The award granted Pierre $30,000 for her organization and the services of an attorney to follow up on the recent Interamerican Court ruling.84 The award is an important achievement for MUDHA, not merely for the resources it provides, but for the positive publicity it gives to their work. Such positive feedback from the United States may be an important step toward bringing about change in the Dominican Republic. Although denunciations have had little effect, the continued international support of grassroots organization in the Dominican Republic may be more successful. In contrast to the work of SJRM and MUDHA, ACMDH is a small organization working in the capital of the Dominican Republic, founded by a Haitian migrant who came to the Dominican Republic for political reasons. With a large association of migrants who live in Santo Domingo, ACMDH has worked tirelessly to assist its members in the long process toward legal resident status in the country. ACMDH facilitates medical exams, the gathering of prerequisite documents, as well as providing financial assistance for those who qualify. Additionally, ACMDH is currently working to develop a long-term Spanish language program for migrants living in the city. The founder of ACMDH, Teole García, is a man dedicated to his work, who manages with the small funds that his organization has been able to solicit. Finally, Fanm Vanyan is the smallest of the four organizations, working directly in Batey Libertad to help the women of the community find legal status within the Dominican Republic. The most recent initiative of this group of thirty-three Haitian women is a candle-making project, with which the women have been able to raise a significant pool of funds to pay for passports and visas for the women. Both ACMDH and Fanm Vanyan, the two organizations founded and 84

Jonathan Katz, “Dominican-Haitian to win RFK award,” Associated Press, 17 November 2006.

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maintained by Haitian migrants, have focused their efforts on attaining legal documents for their members. These migrants are aware of the importance of holding documentation, making this goal a priority for their group. As the women of Fanm Vanyan assert, when the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;guardiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; come to Batey Libertad, they hope that the mothers of the community can remain a stable force in the town, in order to care for the children and the homes left behind.85 (Photo 14) The four NGOs described here illustrate some examples of ways that individuals and organizations are confronting the challenges faced by those of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic. These NGOs are some of the most effective in the field, yet even these organizations have the tendency to face stagnancy with time. During an interview with one representative from Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados y Migrantes, frustration was expressed about the lack of viable proposals set forth by the organization. SJRM had been author to many reports denouncing the Dominican government and asking for change, but well-considered, specific recommendations had not been made. The representative remarked that because money from international donors was being sent to the organization based on the severity of the situation for migrants in the country, in some ways SJRM relied on the maintenance of this crisis for migrants in order to sustain substantial financial commitment from donors. The respondent wondered whether real action was being avoided in order to maintain the financial status quo. This point brings up an important contradiction in the work of NGOs. If, in fact, NGOs do their work effectively, they are working toward their own demise; for the moment when the problems have been solved, their work is no longer necessary. This contradiction is problematic when considering that NGOs provide jobs for individuals in the Dominican Republic, which in many cases are the more comfortable jobs


Guardia refers to the Dominican police forces that enter the bateyes during raids.

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within the country. If individuals within the organization benefit by maintaining the current conditions, what is pushing these organizations to produce lasting change? Representatives from MUDHA voiced similar concerns when speaking about the lack of political action being taken by organizations dedicated to defending the human rights of Haitian migrants. Alba Reyes spoke of the many studies and investigations conducted by groups throughout the Dominican Republic, and the tendency for these studies to remain at the academic level: “Aquí hay otro problema de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil, organizaciones que hacen muchos estudios, muchas investigaciones sobre esa migración haitiana, pero todo se queda en investigación; no hay propuestas, alternativas frente a las organizaciones internacionales, frente a esa migración.”86 Moreover, Alba asserted that even organizations that work directly with migrants, serving as legal advocates and supporters, would not take a political stand when confronting the failings of the Dominican state. She explains: Cuando hay que hacer acciones políticas, que hay que hacer en este caso, nadie quiere comprometerse a esto, incluso las propias organizaciones que trabajan con migrantes, que son supuestamente defensores de los derechos humanos de esta población. Esto se queda en discurso, en los papeles, se queda en los callecitos de los bateyes, en los grandes seminarios en los hoteles; pero nadie quiere asumir acciones políticas frente a esta situación. Nadie. El estado, pero también las organizaciones de la sociedad civil que trabajamos en los derechos humanos, tampoco queremos asumir el compromiso político.87 Alba expresses the difficult fact that no organization wants to make a political commitment in the debate of Haitian migration, due to the fear of making enemies or being labeled as anti-Dominican. Sonia Pierre illustrates the validity of these concerns, as she has been 86

“Here there is another problem of the organizations of civil society, organizations that complete many studies, many investigations about Haitian immigration, but everything remains in studies; there are no proposals, no alternatives offered to international organizations, to confront this migration.” Alba Reyes, MUDHA, Interview with author, Santo Domingo, 14 July 2006. 87 “When political action is necessary, which is necessary in this case, no one wants to commit themselves, even the very organizations that work with migrants, who are supposedly defenders of the human rights of this population. Everything remains in discussion, on paper, on the small streets of the bateyes, in the big conferences in the hotels; but nobody wants to assume political action to confront this situation. Nobody. The state, but also our organizations of civil society who work in human rights, neither do we want to assume the political commitment.”

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forced several times to go into hiding against threats to herself and her family. Truly, the passions that the anti-Haitian sentiment can provoke in the Dominican Republic can be frightening for even the most devoted human rights advocate. For these reasons, MUDHA has realized that they cannot confront the situation on their own, but will require a greater level of action among the large migrant community they work with. Liliana Dolis, a long-time coordinator for MUDHA explained that one of the greatest challenges in their work was confronting the level of passivity seen in the majority of Haitian migrants. She states, “Tenemos que cambiar la actitud pasiva de los migrantes y concientizar a la población haitiana que es posible salir de esto. La gente tiene que organizarse para luchar. Tiene que entrar al hospital con la actitud que esto es mi derecho.”88

THE POTENTIAL FOR COLLECTIVE ACTION Grassroots migrant organizations such as ACMDH and Fanm Vanyan are positive signs for the possibility of a migrant movement in which migrants demand their own civil rights. The fact that migrants have organized to pool resources and help one another speaks strongly to their potential to develop collaborative long-term strategies to pressure officials to make lasting change. Non-governmental organizations like MUDHA and SJRM are ideal actors to prepare migrants for such a role, as they already provide workshops and resources on related topics, such as the rights and responsibilities an individual has under the law. It would be a small step for NGOs to expand their assistance to migrants to teach them how to collectively organize, protest peacefully and advocate actively for their communities. Empowering individuals through


“We have to change the passive actitude of the migrants and make the Haitian population aware that it is possible to overcome this. The people need to organize themselves in order to fight. They have to enter a hospital with the attitude that this is my right.” Liliana Dolis, Interview with author, Santo Domingo, 14 July 2006.

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collective action can be a powerful tool, particularly when attempting to combat the political stagnancy of NGOs as institutions. The passivity of migrants, as commented on by Dolis from MUDHA, is not an absolute reality but a temporary reaction to immediate circumstances. While some might point to the migrants and say that they have been so victimized by the state-less apparatus of their country that they have given up the hope of making lasting organized change, one must probe further to see a more complete picture. Haitian migrants who have succeeded in reaching the Dominican Republic already have a level of determination that places them above the rest. As seen by the stories of countless Haitians living within the Dominican Republic, these individuals are capable of formulating practical responses to their everyday conditions. Their lack of action may be simply a result of inertia â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the difficulty of creating a movement out of nothing, and the increased difficulty when one is unfamiliar with the country in which one lives. Moreover, the long history of humiliating acts by the Dominican state and the degradation of being used as cheapened labor, could only serve to further break the will of migrants who have traveled so far to reach stunted opportunities. The vulnerability of migrants is reinforced by actions such as the brutal 1991 repatriation of individuals from their homes in the Dominican Republic, followed by the mocking reopening of the borders months later for their return. The potential effect of a collective movement from migrants is great if one considers the role migrants play in the economy of the Dominican Republic. Contrary to Dominican labor laws which require eighty percent of the workforce to be comprised of Dominican nationals, in fact the numbers are reversed: eighty percent of the Dominican workforce is foreign labor, with a mere twenty percent native Dominican.89 With such a large presence in the Dominican labor market, Haitian migrants have enormous power. Although each Haitian migrant is given little 89

Liliana Dolis, 14 July 2006.

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attention as an individual, the group of migrants together has a significant influence in the Dominican Republic. If migrants organize with specific, feasible demands, such a call might receive an answer from the Dominican government. Considering the effect created by a single man walking across the country with a cross on his back, the possibility for collective action from migrants is substantial. As the Dominican Republic moves towards a new future, with a new constitution and new requirements for citizenship, the Dominican Republic cannot ignore the past and its very real implications for the present. Undocumented Haitian immigration is a reality for the Dominican Republic, and state politicians need to begin an honest dialog to determine what can be done to fill the space of undocumented migration with viable legal alternatives. From a purely practical standpoint, such a dialog is necessary to satisfy an economic need of the Dominican Republic, while avoiding the destabilizing force of a large, disenfranchised population within the country. The Dominican Republic is at a point in history where its immigration policy can be reformed and adapted to a modern reality; the Dominican Republic must take advantage of this opportunity to construct a policy that is practical and just, without making the same mistakes of the past. In this dialog for reform, innovative responses should be considered to address concerns specific to the Haitian-Dominican debate. Campaigns to provide amnesty to long-term migrants are a partial solution and must be accompanied by other measures to protect migrants from the time they decide to migrate; guest worker programs, if considered, must be examined carefully so that they will not restrict the basic rights of the individuals contracted for labor. Moreover, less traditional approaches may play an important role in the mending of relations between the two countries, while also reducing the corruption and abuse directed against Haitian migrants. Recently among some circles, the possibility of an open zone along the border for free commerce

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and exchange of goods has been discussed with optimism about its potential effects along the border region. This zone would be a bi-national project between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, such that any individual could enter the space to conduct his or her trade freely. Currently much of the cross-border exchange occurs unofficially, and individuals like the madansara put their bodies in danger to cross the border daily to maintain their commerce. Sometimes these women are intercepted and brought to the Dominican ‘fortaleza’ where they are held at the prison until there are a sufficient number of undocumented migrants to collectively deport to Haiti. With an open zone along the border, such measures would be avoided and the madansara could conduct their commerce freely.90 Racism and xenophobia against Haitian migrants must also be addressed in the Dominican Republic, along with the continued legacy of Trujillo within Dominican political thought. Certain sectors of civil society are currently promoting the idea of changing the name of the Masacre River to remove the violent connotations it has with the 1937 Haitian massacre. A proposed new name is ‘Río de la Reconciliación,’91 which would be accompanied by a monument to commemorate the thousands who died by the side of this river. No Dominican administration has ever offered a public apology for the deaths carried out at the hand of Dominican forces, and such a symbolic action could be instrumental in gradually changing the negative views associated with Haitians. Nonetheless, actions cannot be focused merely on the Dominican Republic, as it is clear that the difficult conditions in Haiti are pushing many to leave their country out of necessity. Migrant rights must also consider the right for an individual to remain in his or her country of origin. The poverty and insecurity in Haiti must be addressed, as well as the lack of infrastructure

90 91

Rómulo Vallejo, Filmmaker, Interview with author, Dajabón, Dominican Republic, 14 June 2006. ‘River of Reconciliation.’

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and social programs, and the widespread unemployment in the country. The international community has been ineffective thus far in providing adequate support for Haiti’s development. One representative from the Pan American Development Foundation, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Organization of American States, suggested that what was needed in Haiti was an increase in security forces, to provide order, reduce violence and rebuild the Haitian government.92 Although he addresses an important concern of security, the international community cannot blindly fund police forces in Haiti without looking also to long-term solutions that will create infrastructure and establish greatly needed social programs. There are no easy answers, but thoughtful dialog must begin in order for solutions to emerge. The voices that fill this paper each belong to a human life. Jozèfa, Nikòl, Tidjo and Lili are individuals whose stories stand for the larger reality of the thousands of Haitian migrants living in the Dominican Republic. These individuals are not bitter because of the struggles they have faced, but they are tired, and they long for change. Remembering the family members they left behind in Haiti, they wish for an alternative to the constant migration made necessary by economic ‘mizè.’ Recalling the humiliation of deportations and destroyed documents, they hope for the day when they will be respected in their adopted country. “Si los gobiernos de Haití y la República Dominicana pudieran ser como hermanos, como vecinos, uno podría entrar y salir mejor del país.”93 “Nou kapab fè yon inyon, paske dominiken se yon nasyon ki ansanm ayisyen.”94 Their hopes are idealistic and such transformations do not come easily, but the migrants are patient as they wait. As urged by Mario Marazziti, an Italian scholar involved in numerous international peace dialogues, Haiti and the Dominican Republic 92

Daniel Oneil, Pan American Development Foundation, Interview with author, Santo Domingo, 20 July 2006. “If the governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic could be like brothers, like neighbors, one might be able to enter and leave the country more easily.” (Jozèfa, 13 June 2006) 94 “We can make a union, because the Dominican Republic is a nation together with Haiti.” (Michèl, Interview with author, Batey Libertad, 26 June 2006) 93

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must combat the pathology of the memory and the history that divide them. He reminds the audience during a keynote address, “Primero la paz, después viene la justicia.”95 A society must remove its “lentes deformadores”96 to see without fear and search for positive solutions. The collaborative efforts of NGOs, politicians and migrants are fundamental if these changes are to take place. We must look forward to a day when borders will be superfluous, and Haiti and the Dominican Republic will work toward a future that is mutually beneficial for the entire island.


“First peace, then comes justice.” Mario Marazziti, Keynote address, Seminario Internacional: Construcción de Paz en Culturas con Violencia, Santo Domingo, 14 July 2006. 96 “Deforming lenses.” Mario Marazziti, 14 July 2006.

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1-6: THE MARKET AT TILORI â&#x20AC;&#x201C; JUNE 2006 1. The colors of the marketplace

2. Rusted tin roofs, dusty mules and rocky hillsides

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3. The International Highway

4. An old military lookout

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5. Crowded homes on the Haitian hillside

6. Looking toward the Dominican Republic from Haiti

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13. Pamphlet ‘Mejor pagar una visa que pagar con la vida’


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15-17. BATEY LIBERTAD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2005, 2006 15. The main road of the batey

16. Mariz, the youngest daughter of Manolo

17. Yuly, tying her shoelace

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WORKS CITED American Convention on Human Rights. 22 November 1969. Amnesty International. “Open letter to the President of the Dominican Republic,” 8 March 2006. Asamblea Nacional. “Constitución política de la República Dominicana.” 25 July 2002, Associated Press, “U.S. ambassador calls on Dominican Republic to respect Haitian migrant rights,” 22 November 2006. Balaguer, Joaquín. Decreto 233-1991, 13 June 1991, Balaguer, Joaquín. La isla al revés: Haití y el destino dominicano. Santo Domingo: Librería Dominicana, 1983. Balaguer, Joaquín. “La presencia de nacionales haitianos, especialmente su condición de inmigrantes con permiso de residencia temporal o de jornaleros a término fijo.” Decreto 417-1990, 15 October 1990, Castillo, José. “La inmigración de braceros azucareros en la República Dominicana, 1900-1930.” Cuadernos del Cendia CCLXII, no. 7: 3-78. Clave Digital, “El Gobierno admite ante el Hombre de la Cruz que todas las obras de las provincias están detenidas,” 16 August 2006, Congreso Nacional. “Sobre tráfico ilícito de migrantes y trata de personas.” Ley No 137-03, 7 August 2003, Cuello Hernandez, Jose Israel. Contratación de mano de obra haitiana destinada a la industria azucarera dominicana 1952-1986. Santo Domingo: Editora Taller, 1997. Dal Mas, Gianni. Solidaridad Fronteriza. Personal interview. 19 June 2006.

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Dolis, Liliana. MUDHA. Personal interview. 14 July 2006. Dominican customs official. Personal interview. 14 June 2006. Dotel, Olaya. “Métodos de contratación de mano de obra haitiana.” Estudios sociales 35, no. 129 (2002): 73-84. Encuesta sobre inmigrantes haitianos en la República Dominicana. Santo Domingo: IOM and FLACSO, 2002. Espacio de comunicación insular, “Corte Interamericana de los Derechos Humanos falla a favor de derechos niñas y niños,” 7 October 2005, Espacio de comunicación insular, “El discurso del Presidente: La Nacionalidad traba la democracia,” 31 October 2006, Espacio de comunicación insular, “Organizaciones envían carta al Presidente de la República Leonel Fernández,” 11 Sept 2006, GARR. Informe: Migración haitiana y derechos humanos en 2005. 28 October 2006, Human Rights Watch. Overview of human rights developments: Dominican Republic. 2006, “Illegal People: Haitians and Dominico-Haitians in the Dominican Republic.” Human Rights Watch 14, no. 1 (2002), Katz, Jonathan. “Dominican-Haitian to win RFK award.” Associated Press, 17 November 2006. Listin Diario, “Grupo de haitianos llevaba cuatro días dentro de furgón,” 12 January 2006. Marazziti, Mario. Keynote address. Seminario Internacional: Construcción de Paz en Culturas con Violencia, Santo Domingo, 14 July 2006.

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Martínez, Samuel. “From Hidden Hand to Heavy Hand: Sugar, the State, and Migrant Labor in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.” Latin American Research Review 34, no. 1 (1999): 57-84. Martínez, Samuel. Peripheral Migrants: Haitians and Dominican Republic Sugar Plantations. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1995. Mayor of Clavellina. Personal interview. 19 June 2006. Moya Pons, Frank. El Batey. Santo Domingo: Fondo para el avance de las ciencias sociales, 1986. Oneil, Daniel. Pan American Development Foundation. Personal interview. 20 July 2006. Paraison, Edwin. Ex-General Consulate of Haiti in the Dominican Republic. Personal interview. 13 July 2006. Paraison, Edwin. “Re: LF ET DIRECTEUR OIM SUR L'IMPORTANCE DE LA MIGRATION,” 24 September 2006. Personal email. Plataforma “VIDA” – GARR. Tras las huellas de los braceros. July 2002. Protocol of Understanding on the Mechanisms of Repatriation Between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, 2 December 1999. Reyes, Alba. MUDHA. Personal interview. 14 July 2006. Sagás, Ernesto. Race and Politics in the Dominican Republic. Florida: University Press of Florida, 2000. Suprema Corte de Justicia, República Dominicana. “A Modo de Informe Annual.” 7 January 2006, C3%Ada%20del%20Poder%20Judicial%202006.pdf Ubiera, Pedro. “Derecho y políticas de migración.” Estudios sociales 30, no. 108 (1997): 63-85.

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Vallejo, Rómulo. Independent filmmaker. Personal interview. 14 June 2006. Veras, Ramón Antonio. “Contratos y reclutamientos de braceros: entradas clandestinas o repatriación.” In La cuestión haitiana en Santo Domingo, edited by Wilfredo Lozano, 107-122. Santo Domingo: FLACSO, 1992. Villalona, Chio. Centro Cultural de Dajabón. Personal interview. 14 June 2006. Wooding, B. and R. Moseley-Williams. Needed but Unwanted. London: Catholic Institute for International Relations, 2004. World Bank. “World Development Indicators database.” 1 July 2006, Wucker, Michele. Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola. New York: Hill and Wang, 1999. FOR FURTHER REFERENCE Baez Evertsz, Franc. Braceros Haitianos en la República Dominicana. Santo Domingo: Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Sociales, 1986. Baez Evertsz, Franc. Vecinos y Extraños: Migrantes y Relaciones Interétnicas en un Barrio Popular de Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo: Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados/as, 2001. Castillo Semán, Pelegrín. Geopolítica de la isla de Santo Domingo: migración haitiana y seguridad nacional. Santo Domingo: Fuerza Nacional Progresista, 2001. Dilla Alfonso, Haroldo. “Intermediación urbana fronteriza en República Dominicana: Dajabón.” In Globalización e intermediación urbana en América Latina, edited by Haroldo Dilla, 239-269. Santo Domingo: FLACSO, 2004. GARR-MUDHA. En Busca de Vida: una investigación sobre las Mujeres Haitianas implicadas en la Migración en la República Dominicana. February 2005.

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Gerdsmeier, Katrin. “Los trabajadores migrantes haitianos en la República Dominicana: su protección en el derecho internacional.” Estudios sociales 32, no. 118 (1999): 7-44. Lozano, Wilfredo. Jornaleros e inmigrantes. Santo Domingo: FLACSO, 1998. Martínez, Samuel. “Not a Cockfight: Rethinking Haitian-Dominican Relations.” Latin American Perspectives 30, no. 3, issue 130 (2003): 80-101. Muñoz, María Elena. Las relaciones domínico-haitianas: Geopolítica y migración. Santo Domingo: Alfa y Omega, 1995. Silié, Rubén y Carlos Segura, ed. Una isla para dos. República Dominicana: FLACSO, 2002. Silié, Rubén. La nueva inmigración haitiana. Santo Domingo: FLACSO, 2002. Silié, Rubén. La República Dominicana y Haití frente al futuro. Santo Domingo: FLACSO, 1998. Veras, Ramón Antonio. Migración caribeña y un capítulo haitiano. República Dominicana: Editora Taller, 1985.


By Cynthia So, published December 18, 2006. A Senior Essay presented to the Faculty of the Latin American Studies program in partial fulfill...


By Cynthia So, published December 18, 2006. A Senior Essay presented to the Faculty of the Latin American Studies program in partial fulfill...