The United States Coast Guard conducted five interdictions of illegal sea voyages between Monday and Tuesday and returned 189 people to the Dominican Republic.
The interdictions occurred in Mona Passage waters off the west coast of Puerto Rico.
The illegal migrants, including minors and two pregnant women, were aboard overloaded makeshift vessels.
Sector San Juan commander Captain José Díaz has warned people against illegal migration.
“You may not realize the dangers of being aboard grossly overloaded makeshift vessels that have little or no lifesaving equipment until it is too late,” Díaz declared.
In addition, he said if caught, illegal migrants risk criminal prosecution, repatriation to their country of origin, and possible disqualification from legal entry to the United States in the future.
From October 1, 2022, through April 30, 2023, the Coast Guard interdicted 31 migrant vessels in the Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico.
Coast Guard crews intercepted 992 non-U.S. citizens.
They included 758 Dominicans, 211 Haitians, 13 Venezuelans, seven Kazakhs, one Albanian, and one individual of unknown nationality.
Headline photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard