Dominicans and Immigration





Dominicans and Immigration

The book ‘Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America’ written by Juan González discussed the direct correlation between the interference of the United States in Latin America and the current immigration crisis. The main theme that I captured from the publication revolved around the global politics that were spearheaded by activities coordinated by the United States. The military and economic interests of this world hegemon elicited an unparalleled wave of migration that served to reshape the region’s economic and cultural environment. In his book, Juan González started with an introspective assessment of the historical events prompted by the United States from a personal perspective. I was able to view the accounts of the US invasion into Puerto Rico and Cuba from Juan’s viewpoint.

Chapter 7 of Juan Gonzalez’s book ‘Dominicans: from the Duarte to the George Washington Bridge’ provided me with first-hand information of the plight of the Dominican community as immigrants in New York City. From the text, it is evident that the United States played a major role in accelerating the immigration crisis in Latin America. However, it was even more surprising to perceive the harsh approach adopted by the superpower in enforcing unfair immigration policies that would affect Dominicans negatively. Juan highlighted the plight of one of these immigrants, Estela who had ‘lived through a fierce revolution, three months in a dark cell, dislocation to a strange new country…and a blackout in a New York City subway tunnel’ (Gonzalez 124). In my opinion, the United States was aware of the consequence of their interference in Latin America and poorly attempted to enforce harsh policies on Dominicans with the intention of deterring them from seeking prosperity in North America. However, the determination of the Dominican community finally yielded a generation of Dominican pioneers whom Juan calls ‘the New Colonia’ (Gonzalez 124).

Back home, Juan painted a grim picture characterized by dictatorship and chaos within the political system as well as difficult economic conditions. At this point, bringing up the interference of the U.S. government seems relevant since their invasion of Dominican Republic in April 1965 caused further disarray in the country. Every nation has the right to make a unified decision on their political leaders and by dispatching American troops to interfere with this selection process, the United States infringed on the sovereignty of another state. The loss of lives and destruction of property at the Durante Bridge was unnecessary. While they can justify their actions by claiming to enforce global and political stability, the actions by the United States resulted in dispersal and persecution of the Dominican community for several decades.

In conclusion, Juan Gonzalez’s account of the invasion and exploitation of Latin America by the United States and the subsequent chaos created by Latin American governments revealed the true nature of aristocratic approaches. In my opinion, while the Latin American situation was vulnerable, the inclusion of North America in the domestic politics introduced foreign economic and military interests that exploited Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. The outcome was failed states that lacked any tangible economic and social structures. In the last chapter, Juan González concluded by describing the impoverished status of people living in the shantytowns of Santo Domingo where ‘…the brightest and best daydream of reaching the United States to pull their family out of poverty’ (González 128).


Work Cited

Gonzalez, Juan. Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. New York [u.a.: Penguin Books, 2000. Print.

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