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Dominican American protesting against controversial DR immigration policy. Photo Credit: Carlotta Mohamed

By Carlotta Mohamed

Organizers protested the deportations of Dominico-Haitians from the Dominican Republic Saturday afternoon in the Bronx, raising awareness in the New York Dominican community.

“Black Lives Matter En La Republica Dominicana” was organized after a recent protest outside of the Dominican Republic consulate near Times Square. The Dominican Republic’s plans to carry out mass deportations have drawn international criticism, especially from Dominicans who have migrated from their country.

A 2013 Dominican court ruling determined that approximately 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent were no longer entitled to their citizenship, Rocio Silverio, from the “We are Dominican” organization said.

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“We’re asking people to put pressure on the Dominican government to adhere to international laws and their own laws, because they’re violating their own constitution,” said Silverio.

We understand what it is like to be immigrants facing marginalization and oppression within a nation state, Silverio added. We are standing in solidarity for those fighting for their rights in the Dominican Republic.

Wearing her Miss Haiti Universe sash, Christie Desir, 25, said she’s using her platform and voice to spread the word about the matter until the issue is resolved.

“I think what the government is doing in the Dominican Republic is wrong,” said Desir. “It’s unjust and it shouldn’t be happening in 2015…I just hope for the best.”

The goal of Saturday’s protest was to build a base in the Bronx as a center of the Dominican diaspora leveraging power to protect the lives of Dominico-Haitians.

The signed organizations apart of the action, made demands for Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic to have the rights of due process. They are also urging the Haitian government to ensure human rights protections for every Dominican of Haitian descent and its own nationals living in the Dominican Republic.

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