The United States Coast Guard says the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence crew repatriated 20 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti on Thursday, following an at-sea interdiction 11 miles east of Lake Worth, Florida.
The US Coast Guard said Sector Miami watchstanders received a report from a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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 US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the US Coast Guard said.
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 US Coast Guard said it interdicted about 271 Haitian migrants in the fiscal year 2021, which began October 1, 2020, compared to 418 Haitian migrants in the fiscal year 2020, and 932 in 2019.
These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings, and disruptions in the Florida Straits, Caribbean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean.