Coast Guard takes 85 illegal Dominican Republic migrants back home

SAN JUAN — Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier’s crew repatriated 85 migrants to the Dominican Republic, Saturday, following the interdiction of two unlawful migration voyage interdictions in Mona Passage waters off the west coast of Puerto Rico.

During Wednesday’s interdiction, the crew of the cutter Joseph Napier interdicted a makeshift vessel with 35 migrants, approximately 33 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The cutter Joseph Napier crew embarked 29 migrants who claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals, and six other migrants who claimed to be Haitian nationals.

Coast Guard takes 85 illegal Dominican Republic migrants back home

Photos courtesy of the United States Coast Guard – San Juan District.

During Thursday’s interdiction, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley interdicted a 30-foot makeshift vessel with 50 migrants, approximately six nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Cutter Donald Horsley’s crew embarked 48 migrants who claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals, and two others who claimed to be Haitian nationals.

“Irregular migration voyages in the Mona Passage are highly dangerous and an unlawful means to enter the United States since these voyages most often take place aboard grossly overloaded makeshift vessels with no lifesaving equipment,” said Cmdr. Gerard Wenk, Sector San Juan chief of response. “Anyone thinking of taking part in one of these voyages must understand that their life and the life of everyone in the voyage will be at risk.”

Coast Guard takes 85 illegal Dominican Republic migrants back home

Furthermore, anyone who arrives unlawfully will be repatriated to their country of origin or returned to the country they departed and may also be declared ineligible for legal immigration parole options.

Since Oct. 1, 2023, through Nov. 30, 2023, the Coast Guard has carried out 14 unlawful irregular migration voyage interdictions in the Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico. Interdicted during this period, are 475 non-U.S. citizens including 461 Dominicans, and 14 Haitians.

U.S. residents inquiring about family members potentially interdicted at sea by the Coast Guard, please contact the office of your local federal U.S. representative or Senator. Relatives located outside the United States please contact family members who are U.S. residents to follow the same process on your behalf.

Coast Guard takes 85 illegal Dominican Republic migrants back home