CBP, Coast Guard Rescue 84 Haitian Migrants from Island off Puerto Rico

(Friday, August 02, 2013)

Aguadilla, Puerto Rico – U.S Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Coast Guard apprehended 84 undocumented immigrant citizens of Haiti today after they landed last night in Desecheo Island, 13 miles west of the mainland of Puerto Rico.

Late last night, a USCG air asset on patrol informed the Ramey Border Patrol Station that after flying over Desecheo they were able to see approximately group of 70 to 80 suspected illegal migrants. A USCG cutter arrived at Desecheo to monitor and confirm the landing. For safety concerns the rescue of the group was postponed until daylight.

This morning a CBP Blackhawk transported CBP Border Patrol Agents to provide medical assistance and make an initial assessment, confirming that 84 undocumented migrants, 57 males and 27 females, claiming to be Haitian nationals entered the US.

In the afternoon, two USCG cutters transported the migrants to the Mayaguez port of entry where CBP Border Patrol Agents assumed custody of the group for immigration processing.

The Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, 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 borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws. http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/local/08022013_15.xml