A New York-based campaign is trying to raise awareness about a new law in the Dominican Republic that will take away citizenship from hundreds of thousands of residents, primarily of Haitian ancestry.
The group "We Are All Dominican" held a public forum Saturday to talk about a law passed in 2013 that denies citizenship to people born in the Dominican Republic whose parents migrated to the country after 1928.
Protesters of the law in the city and in the Caribbean view it as an attack on people whose origins lie in Haiti, which shares a border with the Dominican Republic.
Activists at the forum in Washington Heights called for the law to be repealed.
"The problem with this law is that it does not allow Dominican citizens legally born there to attend school, to be granted all civil rights that all other Dominicans are given," said one person at the forum.
"As Dominican-born over there with roots over there, if they've been there for 80 years, I believe they deserve their nationality," said a second.
"It's really deeply rooted in racism, colorism and xenophobia," said a third.
The law will affect roughly 200,000 Dominicans.