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HomeNewsRegional NewsUS authorities detain Haitians abandoned by smugglers

US authorities detain Haitians abandoned by smugglers

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AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico (CMC) – The United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agency says it has apprehended 64 Haitian migrants who were abandoned by smugglers on Mona Island, off Puerto Rico.

Mona Island is an ecological reserve held by the Puerto Rican government and is not permanently inhabited.

“Unscrupulous smugglers are exploiting vulnerable migrants and lying to them for financial gain,” said Scott Garrett, Acting Chief Patrol Agent for Ramey Sector, Puerto Rico.

“Smugglers lied to these migrants, leaving them on an uninhabited natural reserve with complete disregard for their safety,” he added.

CBP said that on Tuesday, October 18, Park Rangers from the Puerto Rico Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (PRDENR) contacted the Ramey Border Patrol Sector indicating that they encountered a group of 104 undocumented migrants that were abandoned on the islands.

The US Coast Guard cutter, Joseph Napier, later transferred the 64 Haitian migrants to the custody of Ramey Border Patrol Agents at the Mayaguez Port of Entry, CBP said, adding that three females, who are pregnant, were transported to a local hospital for medical examination.

CBP said agents transported the group to the Ramey Station for immigration processing.

The Ramey Sector is one of the 21 sectors spread out across the United States and the CBP said it is the only Border Patrol Sector located outside the continental United States.

CBP said the sector’s entire border area is made up of coastline and its area of responsibility is made up of some 6,000 square miles of land and water area, including the 20-mile band of territorial water surrounding the islands.

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