Coast Guard repatriates 43 migrants to the Dominican Republic

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos file photo

MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos crew repatriated 41 Dominican migrants and two Haitian migrants Sunday to the Dominican Republic.

The repatriation is a combination of two separate interdiction cases, which Customs and Border Protection aircrews and Coast Guard cutter crews located and rescued these migrants.

The latest interdiction took place at approximately 1:00 p.m. Thursday after the crew of a patrolling Customs and Border Protection DH-8 Bombardier aircraft sighted an overloaded migrant boat, approximately 8 miles southwest of Mona Island, Puerto Rico. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon, which arrived on scene and interdicted the migrant vessel. Following the interdiction, the crew of the Richard Dixon embarked 17 men and two women of Dominican nationality.

Thursday morning, the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon interdicted a second migrant vessel, transiting with 37 people aboard, approximately 5 miles north of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The Richard Dixon crew provided lifejackets to the migrants and embarked 30 men and five woman of Dominican nationality, and two men of Haitian nationality aboard the cutter.

The Joseph Tezanos crew repatriated 43 of the migrants Sunday afternoon near Santo Domingo. Thirteen migrants were transferred to Puerto Rico; one migrant was medevaced after suffering from symptoms of an allergic reaction, and 12 migrants were transferred facing potential federal criminal immigration charges for attempted illegal reentry into the U.S.

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

The Coast Guard Cutters Richard Dixon and Joseph Tezanos are 154-foot fast response cutters 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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