Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Aranda, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Beatriz Padilla, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kimberly Simmons, Ph.D.


Anti-Blackness, Colorism, Ethnoracism, Illegality, Migration


In 2013, new Dominican legislation left approximately a quarter-million Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent at risk of being undocumented and/or stateless in the Dominican Republic. While the histories of racial and ethnic tensions between the Dominican Republic are well-studied, few qualitative works have explored how these harsh migration policies impact Haitians’ everyday experiences. In my dissertation, I sought to understand: 1) How day-to-day experiences of racialization practices shape the lives of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent, and 2) investigate how migration policies impact Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent’s quality of life. I tend to these questions by employing ethnographic observations and focus group and semi-structured interviews with 67 Haitian descendants living in the Dominican Republic. Findings suggest that anti-Blackness and anti-Haitianness remain central the social and legal practices that continue to marginalize Haitian descendants in the Dominican Republic. These findings are indicative of broader migration trends of exploitation and reveal the inextricable connection between phenotype, legislation, and citizenship in the Americas.

Included in

Sociology Commons