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Haitian migrants caught, repatriated to Haiti

Friday, February 14, 2014 | 7:19 AM    

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CMC) - United States law enforcement officers have detained a number of Haitian migrants among nationals from the Dominican Republic and Brazil who sought to enter Puerto Rico illegally.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency said 57 undocumented migrants from Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Brazil were detained during separate incidents over the last weekend.

CBP said 10 migrants would be prosecuted for violations to US immigration law; five of them for alien smuggling.

CBP said a makeshift wooden vessel navigating east in the Mona Passage was detected last Friday by a CBP Office of Air and Marine (OAM) Maritime Patrol Aircraft, maintaining surveillance for USCG Cutter Escanaba to intercept.

“The cutter reached the vessel in the vicinity of Mona Island, where the vessel failed to heave to when USCG requested the vessel operator to stop within US waters,” CBP said.

It said the vessel was intercepted two miles off the coast of Mona Island, finding 18 Haitians and two Dominican Republic nationals.

CBP said Melvin Rafael Ramirez-Morales and Hestor Mariano Ramirez-Diaz appeared before US Magistrate Judge Bruce McGivering earlier this week charged with “bringing illegal aliens and failure to heave to a federal law enforcement officer”.

The remaining 18 Haitian migrants were repatriated by USCG to Cap-Haitien, CBP said.

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