Coast Guard repatriates 14 migrants to the Dominican Republic

Cutter Joseph TezanosSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard repatriated 14 migrants to the Dominican Republic Tuesday following an at-sea interdiction by the Coast Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement authorities in the Mona Passage.

“I am glad we were able to be on scene and safely remove the migrants from the unseaworthy vessel, a few short hours after embarking the migrants the vessel broke apart and sank to bottom of the Mona Passage,” said Lt. Nicholas Herndon, Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos commanding officer.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft detected a 25-foot grossly overloaded vessel off Puerto Rico Sunday night .  A Coast Guard Cutter interdicted the migrant vessel, safely embrking the migrants.

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.

Since Oct. 1, at least 103 Dominicans attempted to migrate to the U.S. via the maritime environment compared to 96 in fiscal year 2016.  These statistics represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Caribbean Border Interagency Group was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney‘s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym), in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.

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