December 19, 2009

Disabled US Army Veteran with Seven Children in the US Deported to the Dominican Republic for $10 of Crack

“Joselo” was born in 1949. He traveled to the United States in 1965, fleeing the Revolution in the Dominican Republic. He was fifteen years old.

Joselo’s father was born in the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rican parents. He had moved to the US in 1960, leaving Joselo behind. It was difficult to leave the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo Era, but his father was able to leave, as he told government officials that he was traveling to attend to his Puerto Rican parents. He requested to leave the country on the basis that his mother was ill.

Trujillo was assassinated in 1961. Soon after, the Revolution broke out, and Joselo is among the many Dominicans who fled to the United States. His father was a US citizen, and Joselo traveled to the US as a legal permanent resident.

Joselo attended high school in Brooklyn. However, he did not get past the ninth grade. Joselo lived with his father and stepmother in Brooklyn. His father was abusive towards his stepmother, and he was anxious to leave the house. His opportunity arrived when he turned 18, and he enrolled in the US army.

Joselo served two years in the US army, and then two more years in the US army reserves. When he got out of the army in 1973, he began to work in a plastic factory in Brooklyn. Joselo became a foreman in the factory, and was earning good money. He worked in that factory for about fifteen years, until it finally closed down. When the factory closed down, Joselo found himself unemployed, and it was difficult to find work.

Joselo had seven children in the US – six daughters and one son. He had three before he married, and then four with his US citizen wife. His wife worked as a social worker. When he was laid off, she helped him get unemployment checks.

After the factory closed down, Joselo began to have problems with his mental health, and then with law enforcement agents. In 1989, Joselo was charged with the sale of $10 of crack cocaine to an undercover agent. He did not have to serve time for that charge, as it was a first offense.

Joselo continued to suffer from mental health issues. He was able to get payments as a disabled veteran, as he showed that his health problems were related to his time in the armed services.

In 1998, Joselo found himself in trouble with the law again. For the second time, he was charged with the sale of $10 of crack cocaine. This time, he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. He was released in 2000, and was deported to the Dominican Republic.

Joselo thought that, as his father was a US citizen, and he served time in the army, that he was automatically a US citizen. He may, in fact, be a US citizen, if it is true, as he claims, that his father’s parents were born in Puerto Rico. That would mean that his father was a US citizen when he was born, making him a US citizen. Joselo, however, did not have the documentation to show this when he was facing deportation.

When Joselo arrived as a deportee in the Dominican Republic, he had no family in the Dominican Republic to receive him. His wife traveled to the DR from New York to ensure that he found a place to settle down. She found him housing in a motel, and left him. She had to return to attend to their four children.

Joselo receives his army pension, and is able to survive with that money – nearly US$1000 per month. However, he does not like it in the Dominican Republic. He left here when he was fifteen, and is not able to get used to living in the Dominican Republic.

His family in the US has come to visit him here. His wife has come twice, as have his daughters. They speak on the phone daily. Still, Joselo dreams of returning to the United States, the country where he spent 35 years and all of his family lives.


  1. Hi..I am Writing you from San Francisco de Macoris in the North of Dominican Republic (Cibao Area).

    I Know several people who has being deported from USA..and I know another phenomenom..

    People who are on trial..and when they get their Provitional Liberty they scape to D.R.

    Another type of persons who scape from USA, came back because of great problems with Criminals in USA, sometimes they were involve on killings, Robberys and another crimes against big drug dealers on USA..With their life on danger the choose to scape to D.R. in order to: a. Preserve their live; b. Enjoy their dirty money here..

    If you need some further help about dominicans that came back to D.R. please contact me at
    For more information:

  2. Vladimir,
    Thanks for your interest.

    Yes, I have met a couple of people who came to the DR to avoid trial. And, there are some who engage in criminal activity once they are here.

    However, the vast majority of deportees do not engage in criminal activity in the DR because they do not have the networks here, and because, they fear going to prison in the DR. They know it is not the same as prison in the US. With the police keeping a close eye on them, most stay out of trouble.