Thousands of Haitians lined up at government offices throughout the Dominican Republic on Wednesday to beat a deadline to register under a new immigration law or face potential deportation.
The government of President Danilo Medina set a midnight Wednesday deadline for hundreds of thousands of Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian ancestry to register to prove they are citizens or permanent residents or face repatriation to Haiti.
The government said 275,000 Haitian immigrants had submitted their paperwork by early this week, leaving about 225,000 others at risk. Immigration activists say many of those Haitians, plus tens of thousands others who were born in the Dominican Republic to Haitian parents, lack the documents needed to qualify.
Of those who have registered, not all may be accepted as having the valid paperwork, officials and activists have said. The government will have 45 days to approve or deny the paperwork, Gen. Ruben Paulino, the head of the country’s immigration agency, told a news conference on Wednesday. via – WSJ