By Elizabeth Mahoney & Rachel Nolan, Jacobin Magazine, June 20, 2015
This week, news broke in the US media that the Dominican Republic is preparing to deport hundreds of thousands of people to Haiti. Most are the children or grandchildren of undocumented Haitian laborers, born in the Dominican Republic and strangers to Haiti. The impending expulsions — expected to begin this past Thursday, but not yet carried out en masse — have inspired condemnation and not a little confusion in the US, where Dominicans have themselves faced racism and harsh immigration policies.
Rachel Nolan, a PhD student in Latin American history at New York University, provides crucial context for these deportations in the May issue of Harper’s magazine. Here Jacobin assistant editor Elizabeth Mahony speaks with Nolan about the legal pretext for the expulsions, the country’s history of anti-Haitian violence, and the US’s role in shaping Dominican immigration policy.