The Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo kept tight restrictions on emigration during his reign.
With his death in 1961, emigration became a way of life. In the last two decades, about 20,000 Dominicans per year have been legally admitted to the United States.
Not by coincidence, 20,000 is the legal limit for immigration from any one country.
From 1980 to 1990 alone, the official estimate of Dominican-born people residing in the United States doubled from 169,000 to 348,000. As already noted, many more Dominicans have come here unofficially.