Immigrant Rights Clinic students draft report on Dominicans and deportation

On April 30, the Immigrant Rights Clinic and the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigration Rights (NMCIR) released a special report, “Deportado, Dominicano, y Humano: The Realities of Dominican Deportation and Related Policy Recommendations.” Drafted by Ryan Shanovich '09 and Connie Tse '10 on behalf of the NMCIR, the report examines the history and causes of the seemingly disproportionate deportation of Dominicans and offers policy recommendations to the New York City, United States and Dominican Republic governments.

"Deportado, Dominicano, y Humano" argues that since the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) was enacted in 1996, more than 36,000 Dominicans have been deported, causing a severe crisis in Dominican communities in the United States.  "In effect," the reports says, "most deported Dominicans face a triple punishment that is grossly disproportionate to their crimes. After repaying their debt to society by serving their sentences, individuals are again subject to prison-like conditions under ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detention, only to be punished a third time when they are removed to the Dominican Republic, where they must confront the stigma and persecution of being a deportee.” Current practices can also split families apart, and the NMCIR urges the federal government to pass the Child Citizen Protection Act, which would allow judges to consider the children of immigrants in deportation cases, something that the IIRAIRA prevents.

Shanovich, who has volunteered and worked with the Latino immigrant community since high school, and Tse spent hundreds of hours researching data and interviewing people in New York and the Dominican Republic. They hope their hard work will pay off and that this report will be more than documentation--it will be a call to action.