The US Coast Guard in San Juan reported on Wednesday that it had repatriated 96 Dominican and Haitian immigrants to the Dominican Republic after intercepting three boats on the island of Mona, a nature reserve located west of Puerto Rico.
“We urge anyone who intends to cross the Mona Pass by any illegal means not to go to sea,” Lieutenant Commander Edward Kunigonis, head of the San Juan Sector security forces, said in a statement.
As detailed by the Coast Guard, the Donald Horsley vessel carried out the first operation on Sunday by intercepting an improvised vessel with 64 migrants, 62 Dominicans and two Haitians, after an aircrew detected the vessel in Cabo Rojo, in western Puerto Rico.
In the same way, the ship Donald Horsley detected on Monday morning a boat with two migrants, one Dominican and the other Haitian, after receiving a distress call on VHF Channel 16 from a boat making water southwest of the municipality of Cabo Rojo. .
The latest operation took place Monday afternoon when the crew of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft detected a vessel northwest of Aguadilla, in western Puerto Rico, and the Coast Guard intercepted 30 migrants, including 26. Dominicans and four Haitians.
The crew of the Donald Horsley boat transferred the 96 migrants on Tuesday to a Dominican Republic Navy ship off the coast of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
From October 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023, the Coast Guard has conducted 31 illegal travel interdictions in waters near Puerto Rico.
The number of intercepted during this period was 992 non-US citizens, including 758 Dominicans, 211 Haitians, 13 Venezuelans, seven Kazakhs, one Albanian and another of unknown nationality.
Isla de Mona is located in the channel of the same name, which separates Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic and is a frequent migratory route.