As a recent Peace Corps volunteer in the DR, stationed near the border of Haiti, I have a very personal perspective on this issue.
This may be hard to believe for most Americans, but racism in the DR is much worse than racism here in the United States. The idea of being black in the DR is wrapped up with being Haitian, and then takes on a xenophobic quality.
The thing is, 90% of Dominicans would be considered ‘black’ by American standards. So there is a huge difference between being considered moreno (brown) and negro (black). The Policia Nacional Dominicana are so underpaid and openly corrupt that being mistaken for being Haitian means having to bribe officers (which I’ve personally witnessed) or be arrested and possibly beaten. Being mistaken for being Haitian means being denied job opportunities, public education, bank accounts, and health care.
In other words, being black in the DR means being a second-class citizen with no legal protections. And now it means being stateless.
The Dominican government recently opened seven deportation centers near the Haitian border, and gave them the Orwellian name of “welcome centers”.
The Dominican government has also requested 36 large passenger buses “be made available for continued use”.
“This is an extremely ominous sign,” he said. “Everything is set for the deportation and that the DR government is saying it is going forth on this Tuesday, June 16.” via Daily Kos