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Haiti prime minister vows to help migrants obtain documents for Dominican Republic residency

The prime minister of Haiti says his government will soon launch a program to help its citizens acquire documents needed to secure legal residency in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe also says Haiti will reduce the cost of a passport from $80 to about $25.

The announcement Thursday addresses complaints of many Haitians who have been trying to get legal residency in the Dominican Republic under a new program in that country.

More than 80,000 Haitians have applied for residency but fewer than 300 had all the documents they need to qualify since registration began June 2. Only migrants who have been in the Dominican Republic since before October 2011 can apply.

Lamothe spoke following a meeting with Dominican officials in the town of Juan Dolio.