On Monday, the United States Coast Guard repatriated 27 illegal Caribbean migrants after intercepting them at sea in a makeshift vessel in Mona Passage waters northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
The Coast Guard repatriated the migrants to the Dominican Republic.
During the interdiction, the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon crew stopped a 25-foot makeshift vessel, initially detected by the Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft aircrew on Friday.
Coast Guard Sector San Juan chief of response Cmdr. Gerard Wenk warned anyone considering illegal migration across the Mona Passage not to take to the sea.
According to the Coast Guard, migrants interdicted at sea or apprehended ashore will not be allowed to stay in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In addition, anyone who arrives unlawfully will be repatriated to their country of origin and ineligible for legal immigration parole options.
Since October 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023, the Coast Guard has carried out 54 illegal voyage interdictions in the Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico.
Interdicted during this period were 1,680 non-U.S. citizens, including 1,353 Dominicans, 245 Haitians, 15 Venezuelans, seven Kazakhs, one Albanian, two Colombians, and one of undetermined nationality.