The United States Coast Guard on Wednesday said it interdicted 146 Haitian migrants about 69 miles north of Isla de Tortue, Haiti.
The US Coast Guard said the migrants – 120 males, 22 females and four minors – were aboard a 40-foot sail freighter on Sunday.
“These illegal ventures attempting to immigrate to the United States in ill-equipped and severely overloaded vessels are extremely dangerous, especially during the hurricane season when weather and sea conditions can rapidly change in minutes putting migrants in danger of being lost at sea,” said Capt. Jason Ryan, chief of enforcement branch of the Coast Guard 7th District.
“The Coast Guard and our partner agencies coordinate efforts to interdict and stop these unlawful migration attempts into the United States,” he added.
“Migrants caught attempting to gain access into the US through these dangerously illegal undertakings at-sea will be repatriated to their country in accordance with existing US immigration policy.”
The US Coast Guard said the Cutter William Trump crew “rendezvoused with the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute and safely transferred the migrants to the Cutter Resolute crew, who repatriated the migrants to their country of origin Tuesday.”
About 3,414 Haitian migrants have attempted to illegally enter the US via the maritime environment in the fiscal year 2019, which begins October 1, compared to 2,727 Haitian migrants in the fiscal year 2018, the US Coast Guard said.
It said these numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.