Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dominican MLB prodigy denied papers

Posting has been quiet recently thanks to my recent trip back to NYC. It was fun going back to NYC and telling Dominican cab drivers that I lived in Santo Domingo- I loved the look of shock. I also got to see a Yankess game- I'm not a Yankees fan at all, but in order to honor my new home I will admit a love for their Dominican players.

Right before I left I went to San Pedro Macoris, which is an extremely poor area of the DR but still manages to produce dozens of MLB stars like Sammy Sosa. San Pedro Macoris is a sugar cane area, and where there are sugar cane fields, there are migrant workers, mostly Haitian.

Earlier today I cam across this May 2008 article from the NYT about the problems children of Haitians face in the DR. Like in the US, any person born in the DR is a citizen, but many are having trouble getting citizenship rights. The article focuses on a 17 year-old baseball whiz being scouted by the SF Giants:

... To obtain a visa to the United States, Ángel went to a local government office to get a copy of his birth certificate. Little did he know that the Dominican government had recently begun a crackdown on the children of Haitian immigrants, even those like him who have lived their whole lives in the Dominican Republic.

“If your last name is weird, they won’t give you your
documents,” he said. “Same thing if your skin is dark like mine.”

Ángel’s request for his birth record was denied, prompting the Giants to withdraw the offer.

We have several projects that focus on migrant rights and peacebulding in conflicted communities where there has been violence against migrants. As an outsider, I think it's amazing how a small island can be so torn.

No comments: