For the second time in practically as many days, the US Border Patrol (CBP) has apprehended “dozens” of immigrants who landed in makeshift vessels on the shores of Puerto Rico.
Ramey Station agents and officers from the Puerto Rico Police Department discovered a makeshift “yola” type vessel arriving at Combate Beach on the island’s west coast on Saturday, May 7.
Upon inspection, CBP agents encountered 60 migrants. Thirty-four men, 22 women, and three children – including one who was unaccompanied. The majority of the migrants said they were from Haiti, while one adult female said she was from the Dominican Republic.
The agents transported the migrants to the Ramey Station for immigration processing and removal. The encounter came just three days after Border Patrol agents apprehended another group of Haitian migrants disembarking in Rincon, about an hour and a half’s drive north of Combate Beach.
“People who venture to sea to enter the United States illegally not only expose themselves to being victims of smuggling organizations, but they also risk the lives of the law enforcement men and women who rescue them,” Scott Garrett, Action Chief Patrol Agent for Ramey Sector, said in a statement.
The Ramey Sector is the only Border Patrol Sector located outside the continental United States. No further details on the apprehension were released to the press.
Following this incident, the US Coast Guard said it had transferred 62 Haitians to Bahamian authorities after rescuing them in Bahamian waters before they could reach US shores.
“If not for our cutters and aircraft patrolling these waters, the outcomes of those voyages may have been far different,” said Lieutenant Connor Ives, a Coast Guard District Seven enforcement officer. “There is no greater mission than to safeguard lives at sea.”
Since October 1, last year, the US Coast Guard said it has intercepted 4,237 Haitian migrants seeking to enter the country illegally.