Diaspora

About 140 Haitian migrants land in Florida Keys – WPLG Local 10

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Christina Vazquez, Reporter
Janine Stanwood, Anchor/Reporter
David Selig, Digital Executive Producer
Published: March 14, 2022, 1:00 PM
Updated: March 14, 2022, 11:24 PM
Christina Vazquez, Reporter
Janine Stanwood, Anchor/Reporter
David Selig, Digital Executive Producer
SUMMERLAND KEY, Fla. – A group of about 140 Haitian migrants came to shore in the Lower Florida Keys on Monday morning, border authorities confirmed, the latest in a string of suspected smuggling operations.
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said it received the initial call of the large group of migrants landing near Summerland Key, which is about 20 miles from Key West.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection also responded to the scene and is the lead agency investigating.
“Border Patrol Agents and local law enforcement partners are responding to investigate a potential maritime smuggling event near Cudjoe Key, CBP spokesman Adam Hoffner said. “At this time, the investigation is still ongoing.”
Four of the migrants were taken to an area hospital for dehydration, Hoffner said. The others will be transported to border patrol stations in Marathon and Dania Beach for removal proceedings.
The vessel transporting the migrants was in poor condition and severely overcrowded, investigators say. A photo showed blankets lining a portion of the deck.
Monday’s landing comes just over a week after 356 Haitian migrants were taken into custody near Key Largo.
“The criminal organizations that overload these vessels sacrifice the safety of the migrants for the sake of profits,” Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosar of the U.S. Border Patrol Miami Sector said previously.
Border agents say they have responded to six suspected maritime smuggling events in the Florida Keys since the start of March, including five in the past eight days:
According to U.S. Coast Guard data, their crews since Oct. 1 have rescued 1,193 Haitians compared to:
[ALSO SEE: Special unit patrols amid ‘dangerous’ surge of migrants trying to reach South Florida shores]
Copyright 2022 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.
The U.S. Coast Guard said a vessel came ashore near the Ocean Reef community in Key Largo on Sunday afternoon.
Agents with Air and Marine Operations, a specialized law enforcement branch of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, gave Local 10 News a firsthand view of the work they do patroling South Florida from the sky and in the water.
Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."
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Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.
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Copyright © 2022 Local10.com is published by WPLG INC., a Berkshire Hathaway company.

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