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396 Haitian migrants detained on 50-foot boat near Bahamas – WPLG Local 10

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Associated Press
Published: January 23, 2023, 8:37 AM
Updated: January 23, 2023, 10:39 AM
Associated Press
SAN JUAN – The U.S. Coast Guard has detained a boat carrying 396 Haitian migrants near the Bahamas in one of the biggest human smuggling incidents in the region, Bahamian officials said.
The migrants were detained close to the far-flung Cay Sal island located between Florida and Cuba, immigration officials in the Bahamas said in a statement Sunday.
They said the migrants will be processed on the Bahamian island of Inagua and later repatriated.
Nicole Groll, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman, told The Associated Press on Monday that the interdiction happened Saturday afternoon and involved a 50-foot boat.
“It was grossly overloaded and very much unsafe,” she said.
No further details were immediately available.
Thousands of Haitians are fleeing a spike in gang violence and deepening political instability in a country that currently has no democratically elected institutions.
Many travel to the Bahamas and other nearby islands in hopes of eventually reaching Florida. The voyages are often deadly, with migrants crowding into makeshift vessels that have capsized in recent months.
The exodus comes as the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden recently announced that it would start turning back Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans at the Texas border who arrive illegally. The administration is now offering humanitarian parole for 30,000 people a month from those countries if they secure a financial sponsor, apply online and pay their airfare.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Florida Sen. Rick Scott is set to join local officials Thursday in Marathon to discuss the ongoing migrant crisis in the Florida Keys.
Monroe County commissioners asked for more federal resources to deal with the ongoing migrant crisis in the Florida Keys, passing a resolution as they met Wednesday morning in Marathon.
A Local 10 News crew flew with members U.S. Coast Guard Saturday morning and witnessed firsthand a humanitarian air drop of supplies to migrants stranded along the Cay Sal Bank in Anguilla Cay.
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