In 2013, the Dominican state ruled to uphold a 2010 constitutional amendment that stripped thousands of Dominicans of Haitian origin of their citizenship and forced them to leave the country during summer 2015. About 2,200 of these people became displaced in Anse-à-Pitres, where most took up residence in temporary camps. I use the term forced migrants or displaced persons interchangeably to refer to these people.
Migrant “illegality” has increasingly become a popular topic in political debates around the world, but illegal populations are not random or self-generating, they are created and patterned (DeGenova 2002:422). Through the recent enforcement of new and existing immigration laws, the Dominican State has begun to move large populations of Haitian immigrants and their descendants into irregular or “illegal” immigration status.