Dominican Republic border wall: Concrete symbol of centuries-long anti-Haitian ideology

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Fernández Bravo, Ezequiel
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Global Campus Human Rights
This article examines ongoing challenges of racism and discrimination through the lens of the long troubling history of xenophobic persecution of Haitians by the neighbouring Dominican Republic. It analyses the latter’s prejudicial two-tier migration policy toward Haitians; on one hand, ostensibly excluding them, on the other, admitting those it requires for cheap unregulated labour in sectors such as construction and agriculture but denying them and their descendants rights and citizenship. In particular, it focuses on current Dominican President Luis Abinader’s mammoth construction of a heavily fortified boundary wall stretching the entire length of the border with Haiti – a powerful emblem of the “othering” of Haitians as dangerous Black pagan usurpers of African origin while fostering the perception of “legitimate” Dominicans as white Catholic Hispanics. Setting this amid the worldwide context of the relationship between unequal distribution of wealth and a global hierarchy of migration based on race, the article calls on human rights activists inside and outside the Dominican Republic to stand together and renew efforts to dismantle the structural racism upon Haitians.
Haiti, Dominican Republic, boundaries, deportation, migrants
Ezequiel Fernandez Bravo. “Dominican Republic border wall: Concrete symbol of centuries-long anti-Haitian ideology” (2022) 6 Global Campus Human Rights Journal 245-252