Dominican army deports 47,700 Haitians in 13 months

The Dominican army deported some 47,700 Haitians since August 2012 who entered the country illegally, the military said Friday.

The increased repatriations coincided with security forces' stepped up checks along the country's more than 300-kilometer (190-mile) border with Haiti.

In 2012 alone, only 20,451 Haitians who were in the country illegally were deported, army chief of staff Ruben Paulino said in a statement.

During border operations, "214 people of both nationalities who were involved in bringing in Haitians illegally were arrested and prosecuted," he added.

Deeply impoverished Haiti and its wealthier neighbor the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola.

For decades, thousands of Haitians have crossed the border to work as laborers in the sugar industry, in agriculture and in construction, without any guarantee of rights by employers or the government.

The Dominican government has not released official figures on how many Haitians remain living illegally in the country.