Coast Guard Monitoring Haitian Situation

MIAMI – The Coast Guard is closely monitoring recent events in Haiti.

As a deterrent and in the execution of duties related to homeland security and migrant interdiction, the Coast Guard is maintaining a constant presence of surface and air assets in the Windward Pass. The Coast Guard has medium-endurance cutters patrolling the pass as well as Coast Guard helicopters and airplanes.

As always, we are closely monitoring the situation and looking for indications of migrants leaving by boat. So far this year, 490 Haitian migrants have been interdicted at sea and repatriated. The Coast Guard repatriated 1,583 Haitian migrants in 2007.

“Haitain migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States by boat often travel aboard leaking, dangerously overloaded and ill-equipped vessels,” said Rear Adm. David W. Kunkel, commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District and director of Homeland Security Task Force Southeast. “Coast Guard migrant interdiction patrols help save lives by deterring dangerous illegal migrant activity and removing migrants from dangerous environments. Every effort is made to rescue persons embarked in unseaworthy craft or otherwise in peril from the sea, regardless of the nationality or other circumstances of the migrants.”

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