Will the government implement the Legalization Plan?
This time around, according to Constitutional Court Ruling 168-13, the government says the plan is to simplify the procedure and cut the red tape. Journalist Juan Bolivar Diaz is skeptical that the Dominican government will persevere this time to complete what it is proposing: to regularize the status of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in the Dominican Republic.
Diaz says the government will have to confront the same obstacles its public policies have met with in the past: the costly residency process due to Dominican and Haitian government red tape, the low income of those who need to regularize their status, and the reticence of employers to pay for the process. Diaz says that affiliates of the Agribusiness Board (JAD) and the Association of Constructors and Housing Promoters (Acoprovi) say that the ruling requirements are not economically feasible for their members.
Dominican law requires that 80% of employees at any time must be Dominican, but companies are known to have ignored the requirement, and the Ministry of Labor has traditionally looked the other way. Public works contractors are major violators of the requirement, preferring to hire the lower-cost Haitian workers.
Major construction companies have resorted to illegal Haitian labor to build in areas where Dominicans would not accept the living conditions.
Writing in Sunday, 27 October edition of Hoy newspaper, Diaz points out that there have been many failed attempts to implement public policies aimed at regularizing the status of foreigners, including:
14 April 1939: Immigration Law 95.
12 May 1939: Ruling 279 of the Immigration Law.
22 December 1966: Agreement for the hiring of Temporary Haitian Workers between the DR and Haiti
28 March 1987: Decree 152-87 on the Opening of the Dominican-Haitian Border
15 October 1990: Decree 417-90 that orders the Regularization of the Immigrant Status of Haitian Day Laborers
13 June 1991: Decree 233-91 that orders the repatriation of all foreigner workers under 16 and over 60 who work in the sugar industry.
19 June 1998: Memorandum of Understanding for Migratory Matters between the Governments of the Dominican Republic and Haiti
23 February 2000: Declaration on Conditions for Hiring Workers by the Governments of DR and Haiti
15 August 2004: General Immigration Law 285-04
19 October 2011: Ruling 631-11 for Immigration Law 285-04
Source: DR1, Hoy.com.do
Category: DR News |