The Dominican Republic says it has certified the nationality of about 55,000 people who had spent eight years in bureaucratic limbo because their citizenship was in doubt.

The locally born descendants of Haitian immigrants had been on the point of losing their citizenship because the government and courts argued their parents had been in the country illegally. Tens of thousands had trouble enrolling in school, travelling, getting formal work, marrying or registering children for lack of residence documents.

President Danilo Medina announced the measure Friday at a summit in Guatemala.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants are at risk of being deported under a government crackdown on undocumented immigrants.