World

Thousands in Dominican Republic brace for deportations after failing to obtain legal status

  • Police officers in riot gear guard migrants waiting to register for legal residency outside the Interior Ministry building in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Authorities are prepared to resume deporting non-citizens without legal residency in the Dominican Republic after largely putting the practice on hold for a year, the head of the country's immigration agency said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)

    Police officers in riot gear guard migrants waiting to register for legal residency outside the Interior Ministry building in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Authorities are prepared to resume deporting non-citizens without legal residency in the Dominican Republic after largely putting the practice on hold for a year, the head of the country's immigration agency said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Migrants, mostly Haitian, protest after waiting for hours and days to register for legal residency outside the Interior Ministry building in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Authorities are prepared to resume deporting non-citizens without legal residency in the Dominican Republic after largely putting the practice on hold for a year, the head of the country's immigration agency said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)

    Migrants, mostly Haitian, protest after waiting for hours and days to register for legal residency outside the Interior Ministry building in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Authorities are prepared to resume deporting non-citizens without legal residency in the Dominican Republic after largely putting the practice on hold for a year, the head of the country's immigration agency said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Red Cross worker carries a migrant boy to an ambulance after he fell from the second story of the Interior Ministry building in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The boy was waiting with his family to register for legal residency. Authorities are prepared to resume deporting non-citizens without legal residency in the Dominican Republic after largely putting the practice on hold for a year, the head of the country's immigration agency said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)

    A Red Cross worker carries a migrant boy to an ambulance after he fell from the second story of the Interior Ministry building in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The boy was waiting with his family to register for legal residency. Authorities are prepared to resume deporting non-citizens without legal residency in the Dominican Republic after largely putting the practice on hold for a year, the head of the country's immigration agency said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of people are bracing for deportations in the Dominican Republic after failing to obtain legal residency as part of a government program to crack down on migrants.

At least a few of them were turned away at midnight Wednesday's deadline after standing in line for more than 24 hours to submit applications to establish their legal status.

Most of those affected are Haitians or of Haitian descent.

More than 260,000 people enrolled in the immigration registration program, but officials say only some 10,000 have provided the required documents.

An estimated 460,000 Haitian migrants live in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.

Authorities on Thursday were expected to patrol main cities across the Dominican Republic to detain and deport people.