Coast Guard repatriates 20 migrants to Haiti

Twenty-one Haitian migrants and a Colombian national on a 28-foot boat, 11 miles east of Lake Worth, Florida, June 5, 2021. The Coast Guard Cutter Confidence crew repatriated 20 of the Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti on June 10.

Twenty-one Haitian migrants and a Colombian national on a 28-foot boat, 11 miles east of Lake Worth, Florida, June 5, 2021. 

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence repatriated 20 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti, Thursday, following an at-sea interdiction, Saturday, 11 miles east of Lake Worth.

Sector Miami watchstanders received a report Saturday from a Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft crew who interdicted a 28-foot boat with 21 Haitian migrants and one Colombian national aboard.

The Colombian national was brought ashore for further investigation by Homeland Security Investigations.

The 20 migrants were transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence for repatriation, and one person was brought to shore for additional screening.

“The Coast Guard and our partners continue to watch the Caribbean and surrounding waters for illegal and unsafe migration,” said Lt. Edwin Valentin, Coast Guard liaison to Haiti. “Taking to the sea to smuggle yourself into the country is very dangerous; we urge you not to risk you and your loved-ones’ lives.”

The Coast Guard interdicted approximately 271 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2021, which began Oct. 1, 2020, compared to 418 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2020, and 932 in fiscal year 2019. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction, Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.

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