Bahamian man among those apprehended in waters off Florida
Authorities in the U.S. caught 16 migrants, including a Bahamian man, attempting to “unlawfully” enter the United States last Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
In a statement on Tuesday, the coast guard said 14 Haitian migrants, one Bahamian and one Dominican national were caught onboard an unlit 30-foot cabin cruiser heading towards West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 3.
There were six Haitian men, three Haitian women, one Haitian boy and four Haitian girls on the vessel, the coast guard said.
“The Cutter Webber crew transferred five Haitian adults and five Haitian minors to Bahamas authorities and social services,” the statement read.
“The suspected smuggler, Dominican adult and four Haitian adults were transferred into Homeland Security Investigations custody.”
Lieutenant Matthew Pinhey discouraged migrants from embarking on the dangerous journey, noting that it “is not worth the risk”.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, at least 3,000 Haitian migrants have attempted to illegally enter the United States “via the maritime environment” in the 2019 fiscal year.
More than 2,700 Haitian migrants attempted to enter in the 2018 fiscal year.