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Coast Guard Takes 35 Illegal Migrants Back To The DR

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard between Tuesday and Friday returned eight Dominican, 15 Haitian and 12 Uzbek nationals to the Dominican Republic, following the interdiction of two illegal voyages in Mona Passage waters near Puerto Rico.

Four other Dominicans apprehended during these interdictions are facing federal criminal prosecution in Puerto Rico for attempted illegal re-entry into the United States. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico is leading the prosecutions in this case.

“We remain gravely concerned for the safety of people embarking illegal voyages across the Mona Passage and ask they not take to the sea,” said Capt. José E. Díaz, acting commander of Coast Guard Sector San Juan. “The dangers are quite evident; each of these voyages is a mass rescue case waiting to happen.  Your life will be in danger as the voyages most often take place aboard grossly overloaded and unseaworthy makeshift vessels that are highly unstable, continuously are taking on water, and have little or no adequate life-saving equipment.”

The interdictions are the result of ongoing local and federal multi-agency efforts in support of the Caribbean Border Interagency Group CBIG.

  • Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley interdicted a 26-foot makeshift boat Monday, initially detected by the aircrew of a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Enforcement aircraft, approximately 10 nautical miles south of Mona Island, Puerto Rico. The Donald Horsley crew embarked all 21 persons, including six Dominican and eight Haitian men, five Haitian women and two Haitian minors.

  • Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos interdicted a 25-foot makeshift boat May 18, 2022, initially detected by the aircrew of a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Enforcement aircraft, approximately 11 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The cutter Joseph Tezanos crew embarked all 18 persons, including six Dominican and 12 Uzbek men.

Ramey Sector Border Patrol agents received custody of the four apprehended Dominican men Wednesday in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Family members in the United States inquiring about possible family members interdicted at sea, please contact your local U.S. representative. Relatives located outside the United States please contact your local U.S. Embassy.

CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action, in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.

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Coast Guard Cutter Nabs 11 Migrants In Mona Passage Waters Near Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN — The Coast Guard returned 71 migrants, 56 Haitians and 15 Dominicans, between Sunday and Wednesday to the Dominican Republic, following the interdiction of five illegal voyages in Mona Passage waters in the Caribbean.

Six other men, Dominican Republic nationals apprehended during these interdictions, are facing federal criminal prosecution in Puerto Rico on migrant smuggling charges. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico is leading the prosecution in this case.

  • Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon interdicted a 25-foot makeshift boat Oct. 16, 2021, approximately 37 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
  • Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez interdicted a 20-foot makeshift boat Monday, approximately 29 nautical miles northeast of the Dominican Republic.
  • Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos interdicted a 20-foot makeshift boat Tuesday, approximately three nautical miles west of Mona Island, Puerto Rico.
  • Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos and a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit interdicted a second 20-foot makeshift boat Tuesday, approximately three nautical miles off Mona Island, Puerto Rico.
  • Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez interdicted a 20-foot makeshift boat Wednesday just off Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

The interdictions are the result of ongoing local and federal multi-agency efforts in support of the Caribbean Border Interagency Group CBIG.

“Our Coast Guard men and women remain vigilant working alongside our Caribbean Border Interagency Group partner agencies to stop illegal migrant voyages in the Mona Passage,” said Cmdr. Beau Powers, Sector San Juan chief of response. These voyages dangerous, and we urge anyone considering taking part in one that they not take to the sea, they will be putting their life at risk aboard unseaworthy and grossly overloaded vessels, and if caught, they may face prosecution for migrating illegally to the United States.”

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction, Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.

Ramey Sector Border Patrol agents received custody of the six suspected smugglers Wednesday in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

Family members in the United States inquiring about possible family members interdicted at sea, please contact your local U.S. representative. Relatives located outside the United States please contact your local U.S. Embassy.

CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action, in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.

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Coast Guard Takes 91 Illegal Migrants Back To The Dominican Republic Today

SAN JUAN — The Coast Guard Cutter Reliance crew repatriated 91 migrants to the Dominican Republic today from three at-sea interdictions in the Mona Passage off the west coast of Puerto Rico.

These interdictions are the result of ongoing Coast Guard and Caribbean Border Interagency group partner efforts to deter and stop illegal voyages in the Mona Passage. 

In the first interdiction, the Coast Guard Richard Etheridge located and interdicted an illegal voyage at 3:26 a.m. Thursday, comprised of a 17-foot makeshift vessel with 32 migrants onboard, 30 men and two women, in waters just off Rincon, Puerto Rico.

In the second interdiction, a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit interdicted a 30-foot makeshift boat at 7 a.m. Thursday just off Aguadilla, Puerto Rico that was carrying 50 migrants onboard; 47 men and three women.

In the third interdiction, a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit interdicted a 15-foot makeshift boat at 9:20 a.m. Thursday just off Rincon, Puerto Rico that was carrying 12 migrants onboard, 11 men and a woman.

“These interdictions highlight the professionalism, commitment and unwavering resolve of the Coast Guard and our Caribbean Border Interagency Group partners in safeguarding the maritime border of Puerto Rico,” said Cmdr. Beau Powers, Sector San Juan chief of response.   “We continue to implore anyone thinking about taking part in an illegal voyage that they not take to the sea! It is just not worth it, not only would you be putting your life at risk, but the life of everyone else if the voyage.  You are also risking federal prosecution for attempting to enter illegally into the United States.”

In the last eight days, Coast Guard and Caribbean Border Interagency Group partner agencies have interdicted 10 illegal voyages with 211 migrants, who were traveling illegally to Puerto Rico aboard grossly overloaded makeshift boats. Since Oct. 1, 2021, the Coast Guard and CBIG federal and state partner agencies have interdicted and or apprehended over 2,100 migrants who were traveling illegally to Puerto Rico.

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdictions, Coast Guard crewmembers were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19. There were no migrants in these cases reported to have any COVID-19 related symptoms. 

The Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Puerto Rico, while the Coast Guard Cutter Reliance is a Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Pensacola, Fla.

CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym), in their common goal of securing the maritime borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling threats.  The Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigations are also integral partners of the CBIG.