On Monday, the United States Coast Guard repatriated 44 illegal migrants claiming to be from the Caribbean after intercepting them in Mona Passage waters off the northwest coast of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
According to the Coast Guard, one of the migrants claimed to be Haitian, while the others said they were from the Dominican Republic.
They were aboard a 30-foot makeshift vessel that a Coast Guard aircraft detected Friday.
“We urge anyone thinking of taking part in one of these voyages – do not take to the sea – as their life and the lives of everyone else in the voyage will be at risk,” said Captain José Díaz, Sector San Juan commander.
“Those interdicted at sea must understand that they will not be allowed to stay in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Díaz asserted.
He also stated that the authorities would repatriate illegal migrants to their county of origin, and the migrants would be ineligible for legal immigration parole options.