On Hispaniola, the Caribbean island Haiti and the Dominican Republic (DR) share, the understanding has long been that the Haitian presence in the DR was transitory. Whether working in the sugarcane fields, attending university, or running a small business, Haitians were considered guests. But in recent years, a new group of Haitians have arrived in the DR from Haiti’s middle- to upper-income classes, with families in tow, and from the U.S. or Canada.
This group is now driving a sharper wedge between the two nations, serrating their already fraught centuries-old relationship. The new faces are fueling intensified anti-Haitian sentiment, a border wall, and Dominican calls to stem Haitian migration.
To bring light to these new tensions, The Haitian Times seeks to explore in a multi-part, multimedia series: the historic hostility instilled in the cradle on both sides, portraits of the newcomer Haitians, Dominican perspectives on this latest Haitian “invasion,” the wall as a symbol of global anti-Black immigration, and how the two nations' entwined culture might hold the solution to coexist—as emigres from both countries do in places like New York.
Our series will bring a nuanced lens to the discourse about Haiti and the DR, beyond the tropes. It will give the island’s occupants a more accurate depiction of their history and inform international policymakers about the cultural context behind calls for assistance. Perhaps, it will prompt smarter conversations steeped in mutual respect and a symbiotic relationship both nations require to evolve and survive.