MIAMI — Coast Guard and Customs and Border Patrol teams halted an illegal voyage, Thursday, about 8 miles east of Delray Beach, Florida, the Coast Guard 7th District said in a July 20 release.
Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet, Coast Guard Cutter Ibis and CBP law enforcement teams stopped the 25-foot boat. The cutter crew safely embarked 23 Haitian migrants, two who were medically transported for symptoms of severe dehydration.
The interdicted migrants were turned over to Bahamian authorities for repatriation back to Haiti.
“These illegal ventures attempting to immigrate to the United States are extremely dangerous because weather and sea conditions can dramatically change and the vessels are not equipped with the required safety equipment for passenger operations putting lives at higher risk of being lost at sea,” said Lt. j.g. Karolina Del Hierro Vega, 7th Seventh District, Enforcement. “Migrants caught attempting to gain access into the U.S. through these illegal voyages will be repatriated to their country in accordance with existing U.S. immigration policy.”
The Coast Guard and CBP have interdicted approximately 2,500 Haitian migrants who have attempted to illegally enter the U.S via the maritime environment in fiscal year 2020, which began Oct. 1, 2019, compared to 3,499 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2019. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean.
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction Coast Guard crewmembers were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.