I am an Afro-Dominican writer, photographer, and community organizer born and raised in the Bronx, New York. My parents always had an obsession with photographing our lives ever since I was a baby. As a child, I...
Haiti. The Dominican Republic. Two nations. One island. A history of unity buried by one of conflict. The only Caribbean island divided by a militarized border. One of the most controversial issues? Immigration.
In June of 2015, the Dominican government began deporting whom they believed were "illegal" (undocumented) residents after passing a 2013 law that denationalized anyone in the country born after 1929 who does not have at least one parent of Dominican ancestry. Due to the Dominican Republic's notorious anti-Haitianism, the most targeted group were more than 200,000 Haitians and Dominicans of perceived Haitian/African-descent. Virtually all dark-complexioned people in the Dominican Republic were subject to suspicion for their residential status and faced ongoing violence and discrimination.
This human rights crisis sparked an international movement in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Canada, France, and the United States, where activists organized direct actions during the summer of 2015 to denounce the unjust denationalization of 200,000+ Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian-descent who are facing violence and deportations in the Dominican Republic. The following images represent a part of this story, from New York City.