El Masacre

PhotographerEdoardo Agresti
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

For decades, the Dominican Republic's Constitution had bestowed citizenship on anyone born on Dominican soil, just like in the United States. That ended in 2010, when the Constitution was rewritten to exclude children of undocumented immigrants. The lawsuit sought to validate the citizenship of those born to immigrant parents before 2010. Instead, the country's highest court ruled in 2013 that all residents born to immigrant parents dating back more than 80 years were not entitled to citizenship. In a flash, approximately 210,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent were made stateless. International pressure mounted and the Dominican government provided a "fix": a law creating a path to restore citizenship.The mass deportations that many feared have not come to pass. But fear may have been enough. Heightened racial tensions and the idea of deportations caused tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent to leave on their own.