Although Haiti and Dominican Republic share the same geographic area called Hispaniola, the attitudes of Dominicans toward Haitians is extremely hostile. In September 2013, the Dominican Constitutional Court ruled that being born in the country does not automatically grant citizenship, and it directed officials to purge voter rolls of non-citizens, including people born to non-legal residents going back to 1929. Advocates say 200,000 people could be stripped of citizenship, along with the documents they need to work or attend school.
The ugly part of all of this is that “Haitianness” in the DR is most often related to dark skin color. The irony in this is that the majority of Dominicans have African ancestry, though there is a visible difference at times between hues of “brown” and dark chocolate, and Dominicans are raised to embrace and aspire to lighter skin complexions.