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Dominicans In America Essay

2949 words - 12 pages

Dominicans In America

The Dominican Republic or also known as La Republica Dominicana is a small island that is 18,816 square miles, located off the coast of Florida. The Dominicans of this land share their island with the Haitians. The island has a subtropical climate, mountains, rolling hills, and fertile river valleys. The economy is mainly dominated by sugar, which still earns much of the country's foreign exchange despite establishment of varied light industries and the development of nickel, mining and tourism. Coffee, cocoa, tobacco, and bananas are also a major export crop. But, despite their seemingly stable economy, and lush landscaping, a vast majority of the estimated 8,603,200 people that live there wish to migrate to the United States. This may be due to the fact that since the time the Dominican Republic was proclaimed in 1844 as a dictatorship, it has come under the attack of bad political leadership, and civil strife. In 1899 the country was bankrupted by civil strife after the murder of Ulises Heureaux, their dictator. Shortly after that the country came under U.S. control. Even under U.S. control the country still suffered from dictators with highly restrictive policies on leaving the island, and harsh economic conditions. These terrible economic conditions only worsened and caused a gigantic influx of immigrants from the Dominican Republic to the United States in the early 80's and even more in the 90's (Hale-Benson, p. 97). The people came in groves to the United States seeking more opportunities and a better life, but they soon learned that they would face many of the same cultural, racial and ethnic barriers that other ethnic immigrants have faced when seeking a new life in a new land. In this paper I will detail the hardships Dominicans have suffered since their influx to America. Such as harsh economic problems here in the U.S., almost worse than those faced in the Dominican Republic, lack of quality and skilled job opportunities, due to a poor education, discriminatory barriers they have been forced to endure and overcome, and various other obstacles that they have had to surmount, all while striving to become a productive and contributing people here in America.
New York City's fastest growing immigrant group are Dominicans, a Spanish speaking people, flocking from the Dominican Republic to the United States, New York City in specific. In 1980 the Dominican population in NYC was 125,380, in 1990 it was 332,713, and today in 1999 it is an estimated 500,000 people. The only problem with this is through the years of their migration to America, their per capita income has declined precipitously. It seems as though when the Dominican population in America increases, their income as a whole decreases. Nearly half of the Dominicans in NYC live below the poverty level. In 1990 29% of Dominicans where on welfare. Of foreign people immigrating to the U.S., only people from the former Soviet Union had a higher percentage of...

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