SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Hundreds of Haitians are waiting in long lines throughout the Dominican Republic trying to secure legal residency as they face the threat of deportation.
The Dominican government has extended hours at the Ministry of Interior but it can take all day and multiple visits just to submit the application.
The government has given non-citizens until Tuesday to register under an initiative aimed at regulating the flow of migrants from neighboring Haiti.
Interior Minister Ramon Fadul said Monday that non-citizens who haven't registered could be deported. The migration agency has prepared 12 buses and offices along the border to begin repatriating people.
An estimated 500,000 people of Haitian descent live in the Dominican Republic but many lack birth certificates or other identification and very few have been able to secure residency.