What does Dominican Republic lose expelling Haitians?

Dominican Republic and Haiti are two small countries that share a small island among them is creating a potentially large problem.

As of Wednesday, at least 180,000 Haitians 458,000 -of which calculates the government living in a Dominican territory were liable to be deported for lack of documents, under the new Plan of regularization of foreigners in the Dominican Republic.


The new immigration measure, signed into law in 2013 after a controversial ruling by the Constitutional Court (TC), it aims to normalize the immigration and employment situation of citizens of foreign origin living in the Dominican Republic, and primarily affects the Haitian population, It makes up 87% of immigrants in the country.

And although the number of Haitians who live in the Dominican Republic varies according to the sources, there are figures agree on the importance to the Dominican economy, which could be impacted if they became subject to a process of mass deportation.

Duvalier legacy

"We know it is extremely important for the Dominican economy population, are in construction, in agriculture, where they began, tourism and a good portion of domestic workers," he told BBC World Professor Eduardo Gamarra, of International University of Florida.
Tens of thousands of Haitians lined up until midnight Wednesday to regularize their situation.

The problem is not only how many Haitians there, but how many have documentation, a situation aggravated when the TC decision left many born in Dominican territory in limbo without citizenship.

"The presence of this population, which was before some invisible because it was only farming, began arriving on purpose by bilateral agreements in which the government of Dominican Republic was paying Papa Doc and then Baby Doc, a significant number by braziers, "Gamarra said in reference to the era when the Duvalier famila dominated Haitian politics (1957-1986).

 According to data from the first National Survey of Immigrants (ENI) 2012, conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) of the 570,000 who work in agriculture, 18% are Haitian; 248,000 of construction, 29% is Haitian.

Haitians are also relevant for trade (5.4%), the hotel industry (3.7%) and manufacturing (2.6%).

"The workforce Dominican Republic occupies 3.991 million people, of which 7% are Haitian," says the BBC the Dominican economist Miguel Ceara Hatton.

Details of the Dominican Labor Market Observatory (OMLAD), the Ministry of Labour of Dominican Republic indicate that between 2000 and 2014 the use of Haitian labor increased by more than 440%, beating the Dominican Republic, which rose only 35 %.

"Cheaper"
The relevance of Haitians into the base of the Dominican economy can be explained by several factors, perhaps the most important of which is a hand of cheaper labor, precisely because informality that an important part of her moves.

According to a World Bank (WB) in 2012, wages of Haitians can become up to 40% lower than those of Dominicans.

Many Haitians do not have documents proving their place of birth or when inmigranron to Dominican Republic, which has caused delays in naturalization.
"The wages of Haitians are almost all in the informal sector because being an undocumented population is not social security for them pay," says Ceara Hatton.

In the agricultural sector, to recruit Haitian can become half of what it costs to hire a Dominican, according to the World Bank report entitled "Haiti and Dominican Republic: more than the sum of its parts," he says.

Economic contribution

There is no exact figure published by authorities that Haitians will contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Dominican Republic, although independent research has made calculations.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) conducted a further investigation of the ENI 2012, which determined in 2013 that the Haitian population accounts for 5.4% of GDP in Dominican Republic.

That amounts to US $ 3,456 million to US $ 64,000 million Dominican GDP, estimated by the World Bank in 2014.

However, the side of many critics Dominicans to the presence of a Haitian community in its territory, it is often said that Dominican society incurs high economic costs to provide public services to the immigrant population.

The economic impact of these migratory measures, of course, be felt on both sides of the border.

Haitians working in the eastern portion of the island of the Spanish contribute about US $ 1,300 million in remittances to their country, representing a quarter of the GDP of Haiti, according to UN estimates.

A notable figure whose descent can have a traumatic effect on the hemisphere's poorest economy.

"Stateless" on their land

Wednesday, at the end of the regularization process, the Dominican authorities reported that about 275,000 Haitians presented documentation to normalize their immigration status.

Now within 45 days "grace" opens to verify that the data submitted are authentic.

Those who did not accept the plan at risk of being arrested by the security forces and sent to "camps welcome" or detention centers established in various parts of the border, from where they will be returned to Haiti.

From Constirucional Court decision in 2013 there have been several protests asking Haitians to the Dominican President Danilo Medina restore their nationality.
The reorganization plan stems from a 2013 decision of the Constitutional Court of Dominican Republic that states that "foreigners in transit", those who can not prove their legal stay in the country may obtain a legal residence permit, which turn would facilitate the acquisition of nationality to their children.

The court's decision left thousands of children of Haitians born in Dominican territory in ambiguous situation when you Dominican nationality was withdrawn and replaced by a green card last year, which for some groups leaves them stateless.

The United Nations, the Caribbean Community (Caricom), the European Union and Amnesty International, among others, have warned that the immigration measure jeopardizes the Haitian population for over a century has been established in Dominican Republic.