dimanche 6 août 2017

The haitian workforce in the Dominican Republic: decades of loyalty, decades of a humanitarian crisis yet to be solved.-

The haitian workforce in the Dominican Republic: decades of loyalty, decades of a humanitarian crisis yet to be solved.-

By Serge Junior Fécu @Lenational

The Dominican Republic is in good part dependent on the haitian workforce which they maintain illegal for decades. The illegal haitian immigrants work at a 90% or more in the plantations and constructions and some percentage in other important fields like tourism and the call center industry. Some of them arrive in the country legally and later become illegal while the majority have been brought for decades per group seasonally to cut sugar cane and stayed over generations, creating generations of undocumented immigrants with no existence, no rights, no insurance, no benefits required by law.

An anti haitian system is historically established in this country to keep the haitian workforce illegal, with no chance for their kids born in a country they're giving their blood to. Immigration will take them in mass anytime they want and you can always see the smiling face of many dominicans being proud when these violations are happening. In fact, mass deportation is a violation to the international norms. They even deport black dominicans since color is a determinant survival factor in this country, and black dominicans are facing racist acts everyday, I believe they do the best they can to show they're not haitian by either changing the hair color, putting efficient products to look as white as possible, bleaching or just hurrying to speak to show no accent in their dominican spanish. If you're confounding a black dominican and you dare speaking creole, this can be very uncomfortable, even aggravating cause they like people to think mistaking them to haitians. Cause a perception of ugliness is created in regards to the haitian identity, where if a dominican call you "haitian" (haitiano), be sure it's an insult. (But I should tell calling me haitian is always pleasant to me, cause that's exactly my identity!)

Well, this is not what I'm here to blame, black dominicans should manage and stand against this if they don't feel comfortable, but I'm here to raise awareness on decades of humanitarian disaster my compatriots and many relatives of mine have been facing being that so important workforce, helping this economy to grow in all its forms.

In every corner, every city in the Dominican Republic, there's haitian; if not, you can believe there's no plantations for agriculture or there's no constructions, or tourism is not moving as they would need them as french-speaking.

What is truly really hard for me to understand is why haitian immigrants have been this crucial and a depending and reliable workforce for decades the Dominican Republic, why they need them but it's a big deal to give them legal papers, and it's a big deal to give them integration in the dominican system? While Canada now has one of these immigrants as one of its Ministers, right from Somalia and not born in Canada...

Why is it a big deal legalizing haitians immigrants while if they're all deported, the next apartment or hotel construction will be discontinued for lack of workforce? They're the ones building them! Why is it a big deal give them legal paper while you their workforce is crucial, while they can't refuse that workforce? But they just refuse to believe they're humans and have the rights to be treated fair? Why do dominican authorities allow a resorts that I know to hire illegal haitians because they receive a 100% french-speaking tourists, while they could issue a mere work permit to this reliable and crucial workforce to perform their job legally and pay tax and enjoy all benefits required by law?

I do understand the D.R territory and system cannot absorb the other 10 millions of people on the other side of the island, same as the United States couldn't absorb all Mexicans but they convene on norms, they know immigrants have rights, they know they're humans, they don't keep using and abusing mexicans or any certain immigrant workforce while closing all doors to get legal documentations, while closing all doors to have a better future with their families. No!

This humanitarian crisis needs to reach to an end, either they eradicate the haitian workforce, saying they don't want our compatriots anymore in the plantations and see who would feed the country, or they say they don't want them in the constructions, in the call centers and tourism as French and english speaking and we see what happen or they come up with a solution if they finally believe it'd be worthy giving haitian immigrants the chance of integration as an important component in the dominican economy.

This is not dictating them how to rule their country cause the International Community doesn't have the right to interfere and nobody else than the D.R itself of they wanna improve their image through the world as a great tourism destination, this is just raising awareness since immigrants all over the world have the rights to have the future they're looking, including illegal dominicans in other countries. They deserve to be respected and dignified as human.

This is not dictating how to rule their country, but our compatriots can cry out of loud as victims of a discriminating system after all they do and will continue to do as a loyal workforce. This is not dictating how dominicans should rule their country, but just a reminder to comply with international conventions signed as part of the United Nations, the OAS, they need to make improvements to be able to join the CARICOM as wanted.

This is a reminder to respect the international norms on immigration cause their country will gain in many forms solving this long humanitarian disaster created by both irresponsibility of haitian and dominican authorities over decades.

Serge Junior Fécu,
Internationalist


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