Dominican builders admit illegality, but warn of collapse
Santo Domingo.- Dominican Housing Builders and Developers Association (ACOPROVI) president Fermín Acosta on Sunday warned that if the authorities deport all undocumented Haitians working in construction, the sector will founder and cripple the economy.
He said it’s a fallacy and a dream to expel all Haitians out of the country as proposed, and rejected as unfeasible the 80-20 proportion of Dominican-to-foreign workers, as the Labor Code stipulates.
He revealed that as many as 270,000 foreign workers, mostly Haitians work in the construction sector, for which in his view the fact that those foreigners lack documents is a national issue, not of the construction sector.
Interviewed by diariolibre.com, Acosta said a massive repatriation of Haitians would not only affect construction, but also other sectors such as agriculture.
He acknowledged a surplus of foreign laborers, but blamed the authorities, since in his view, it’s a problem the country has had since the 1930s.
He also acknowledged his sector’s violations of the Labor Code, which stipulate the at least 80-to-20 proportion of employees of a Dominican company. "… And what are we going to say, that it’s not true? I once fired all Haitians … and had to call them back, because I couldn’t build."