“ Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Hello my name is Nia and I’m “El lider de dia”. , I know this is most likely the 7th blog post you’ve read but this is the one post that has a lot of importance. Today was Immigration Day. This topic is very controversial within the Dominican Republic. As we all know from the media there has been tension building between Dominicans and Haitians, due to the fact that many Dominican born citizens of Haitian decent are being deported back to Haiti. I know your asking where am I going with this? But the reason I’m mentioning this big cultural issue is because today we learned about a non-profitable organization called CEFASA.
CEFASA’s main job is to try to help legalize any foreigners mostly of Haitian descent by guiding them through the naturalization process. We had the honor of talking to a lawyer who works at CEFASA as well as a Haitian by the name of Abner Charlotte who was there to inform us on the steps a Haitian needs to take to be approved to go through the naturalization process (Abner) and what are Dominicans (the lawyer) view on how they are perceived due to this controversial topic.
As a Dominican my viewpoint on this very controversial topic is why is it so hard for a foreigner to be given citizenship. They had these foreigners do absurd things such as proof of resident that consisted of 7 people within the community to testify that the foreigner lived in the location they claimed. This was followed by many other tasks needed in order to get citizenship. With all the information I have gained knowledge on I would almost think that the Dominican government didn’t want the foreigners to get access to citizenship and so they made it nearly impossible, for many. Which made me question what are the qualities that the government thinks you need in order to be considered Dominican?
After we went over the politics and different aspects of immigration we lightened up the mood with taking part of a summer camp. This summer camp was located within CEFSA, and it seemed to target kids from the ages of 5- 14. Which shows that CEFSA is not only involved within helping the naturalization process but also with kids in the Santiago community. These kids were full of energy, as the camp welcomed campers with blasting music and smiles. I have a vivid image of all the kids dancing to the song as they were sitting in there camp groups. For me this represented my culture in so many different ways because from a very young age it seems like a very first lesson in life our parents show us to approach life with positivity and happiness.
I believe at the end of the day if we do things with a positive and happy attitude then the outcome we want is bound to happen. Even if the process is long we just have to wait and stay strong.