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Dominican Republic launches migrant children plan amid fears thousands will lose citizenship

The Dominican Republic has launched a plan putting into motion a recent court ruling that could strip the citizenship of children born to migrants living there illegally.

The plan became effective Saturday and states that those affected by the ruling have 18 months to request Dominican citizenship starting in June 2014. The plan, however, does not provide details on what kind of requirements or conditions should be met.

President Danilo Medina signed the plan days before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights holds a five-day hearing to receive complaints and testimonies from those affected by the ruling.

The plan is being launched as some 464 people have either been deported to Haiti or left the Dominican Republic voluntarily in the past week due to anti-Haitian suspicions following the murder of an elderly Dominican couple.