Dominican Republic, port of departure
Until the early sixties, few Dominicans, in essence only political refugees,
had to search for other lands. The change in the last four decades, which brings
some experts to speak of a "true exodus", is due to a series of factors:
- "Elimination of the juridical-political impediments that existed under
the Trujillo dictatorship and the use of U.S. strategy to facilitate the entrance
of Dominicans to its territory during the 60s and 70s as a way to counteract
the Cuban influence in the region..
- "Increase of the working age population due to maintaining the birth
rate, reducing the death rate and the growing incorporation of women into
the work force."·
- "Generally, the reduction of Dominican buying power, in spite of the
adoption of an economic model based on tourism and duty-free zones and in
addition to the precariousness of basic public services."
The volume of remittances, each year higher, speaks to the relevance of the
diaspora to the national economy, of the people's capacity to work and overcome
and their close emotional relationship to their land of origin. According to
the National Human Development Report - Dominican Republic 2005 of the United
Nations Development Programme, in 2003, remittances represented 12.2% of the
GDP, 198% of the national exports, 49% of the imports and 66% of the tourism
United States, Puerto Rico, Spain and Venezuela are favorite destinations.
For 2000, very moderate estimates calculate that 1,041,910 Dominicans reside
in the United States alone. While the U.S. Coast Guard reports that from 1982
to 2004, it has detained 25,724 Dominicans attempting to arrive to U.S. coasts
on illegal vessels.
In the case of Venezuela, the country received thousands of Dominicans between
1970 and 1985 due to its economic growth for the rise of oil prices. Spain became
a preferred destination from the middle of the 80s by poor immigrants from the
southeastern region, mainly those who had difficulty arriving to the United
States, but found determined work niches in the Iberian country that had recently
been incorporated into the European Community. The phenomenon has increased
with the passing of time.
The individual that emigrates is on average from the urban middle or lower
middle class, opting for large metropolitan areas in the country to which she
arrives. Her level of education surpasses the median of the country, though
the number of professionals with university studies in other countries that
remain as part of the work force has increased.