NYC Elected Official Condemns "Xenophobic Purging" In Dominican Republic

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Dominican Republic president Danilo Medina

When a country turns its back on its people, everyone across the globe must take a stand.

As an elected official of a vibrant Haitian community in a city made stronger by residents of both the Dominican Republic (D.R.) and Haiti, I am beyond disheartened by the Dominican government's treatment of its citizens who happen to be of Haitian descent; treatment that can only be described as hateful, xenophobic purging.

Many of the families who are facing deportation were born in the D.R. and have lived there all of their lives. Men, women and children - many born in that country - are being stripped of their human rights, essentially becoming stateless. The climate of fear has forced thousands into hiding. Even more disheartening is that many are rightfully fighting for comprehensive immigration reform here in the United States without seeing the correlated fight in the D.R.

I join Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito, and my Council colleagues in calling on the Dominican government to recognize that these proposed deportations are inhumane and should be reversed immediately. Citizenship should be restored to those born in the country, and migrant workers whose labor has benefited the nation should be offered a legitimate path to citizenship. Our federal government must also use its full weight to prevent a humanitarian nightmare on the island.

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