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The Dominican Experience

Luis E. Guarnizo reported that three decades have passed with steady growth in emigration into the U.S by Dominicans being reported. It is reported that in the 1960s only a notable number of Dominican states were affected by the international migration more especially the urban, rural low and middle class regions. He further went ahead to report that the situation has however changed to date since all the Dominican society has either been affected indirectly or directly by the international migrations. The 1990 Census report of the U.S indicates that for every ten nationals of the Dominican Republic in American, seven of the live in New York City. It is also indicated that the Dominicans are the most conspicuous group of New Yorkers that is steady growing in numbers. The Dominican national’s impact has been felt both in politics and in enterprenual spheres. Guarnizo argues that migration should be looked at as that “distinct social group that emerges from intricate web of economic, political and social forces as a result of the Dominican emigrants experience in the U.S, rather than just simply the movement of people between the two states”(Guarnizo).

Upper classes’ monopoly of economic and political power, the upper classes try by all means to prevent migrant upstarts from realizing their dreams. Thus successful migrants find themselves in a contradictory class position: they possess the economic power to belong to the upper class but lack the social status to legitimize such power” (Guarnizo).

The Dominicans in New York have also undergone through the demise of reduction in social capital in and the subsequent weakening of family ties with their native societies. Republic emigrants have become a burden to them while maintaining the solidarity spirit alive and the obligation to their society, a factor that deters them from prospering economically (Guarnizo). “Exaggerated accounts of the Dominican influx to the island are routinely passed on to Puerto Rican relatives in the United states, where competition over jobs and business opportunities has created increasing rivalry between the two immigrant communities in the Northeast.”(Harvest of Empires 126)

“Spatial immigration” is also a notable experience of the Dominican New Yorkers. It has been brought to the forefront by Guarnizo that Most Dominican emigrants have one nuclear family leaving in two separate countries hence the term “Binational" or "dual nationality”. This is as a result of the continued dichotomy of the settlers- sojourn; the two similar but geographically separate domestic units that have make it difficult for the Dominicans to setup families (Guarnizo).In the case of Oscar, it is evident that he has most of his cousins living in the Dominican republic while he lives in New York City.

Guarnizo’s term “Binational"or"dual nationality”. Is clearly brought out through the linkages between these two countries. He gives four instances; (i) Dominicans who live in the U.S but own some business back at home and are hence forced to make frequent visits to their native home to monitor them. Others also come to the Dominican Republic to buy drugs that goes for a cheaper price than in the U.S. (Guarnizo).

The second instance is of the people who have returned permanently to the Dominican Republic but keep on travelling to the U.S so as to check on their businesses that they might have set up there. Others travel back for formality reasons so as to keep their visa valid so as they are not locked out of the U.S permanently (Guarnizo).

The third category is that of brokers who travel to and from the two countries continually. Some broke business interest of the different investors from the two countries. For example find market for the products in both countries and also looking for contracts on behalf of the local and international development firm. So yet still travel across the boarders so as to find employment for the natives and immigrants alike in both countries (Guarnizo).

It has been further reported that the Dominican emigrant bear a “double visage” that of the “immigrant” and that of the “New Yorker”.Guarnizo calls this the “DominicanYorks”.The life led by the Dominican citizens in New York city is an exact replica of what happens back home in the Dominican Republic. The loud booming music and the colorfulness of the Dominican culture (Guarnizo).Junot also talked of many Puerto Ricans seating on the pouch drinking alcohol the whole day long.

Oscar moved into New York City with his parents at a very young age, it is reported that he was referred to as “Little Porfirio Rubirosa” by her mother a  Dominican republic racing hero(Junot 12). Guarnizo’s “Binational” aspect comes in play in that despite living in New York City Oscar’s family was always attached to its native Dominican island. Despite living in New York, Oscar’s mum always spoke to the in Puerto Ricans.

Oscar’s demise is revealed when people begin to talk about his shy nature and in ability to court girls. It is argued that as a Dominican young man he ought to be able to display that Macho Dominican aggression as a young man in New York of Dominican Ancestry (Junot 24).

Oscar was a Dominican who had lived in Santa Domingo New York for a very long time, Guarnizo’s “Binational aspect” becomes evident as Oscar a companies his family when they w go to back to the Dominican republic to pay their other family a visit. According to Oscar’s explanation, her mother is more than glad to return home. It is reported that the Dominican republic had changed from that the ruins that is was in with dilapidated roads ,to “better roads and nicer vehicles and branded-new luxury air-conditioned buses…………..U.S fast food restaurants(Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King)”(Junot 273)

When Oscar went back home to his native land he was shown snaps taken of him when he was young. He is also called “Huascar” his Dominican name as opposed to the “Oscar” he was used to in New York (Junot 276).

In conclusion, this is what Guarnizo says as pertaining to the “Binational" or "dual nationality” nature of the Dominicans. The culture of these two countries has become greatly entangled into each other but the Dominicans have lost morality as they have become absorbed by the Drugs, gang related crimes lifestyle of New York. “Those who go to New York are cancer of our society; for that reason, their departure is not that negative for the country. When they return, they bring the vices of Drugs; their ostentatious wealth induces others to emigrate too” (Guarnizo). A businessman lamented that the New York culture has make workers go on strikes since they can always move into New York for better paying jobs if fired.

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