SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier’s crew repatriated 85 migrants to the Dominican Republic, Saturday, following the interdiction of two unlawful migration voyage interdictions in Mona Passage waters off the west coast of Puerto Rico.
During Wednesday’s interdiction, the crew of the cutter Joseph Napier interdicted a makeshift vessel with 35 migrants, approximately 33 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The cutter Joseph Napier crew embarked 29 migrants who claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals, and six other migrants who claimed to be Haitian nationals.
During Thursday’s interdiction, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley interdicted a 30-foot makeshift vessel with 50 migrants, approximately six nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Cutter Donald Horsley’s crew embarked 48 migrants who claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals, and two others who claimed to be Haitian nationals.
“Irregular migration voyages in the Mona Passage are highly dangerous and an unlawful means to enter the United States since these voyages most often take place aboard grossly overloaded makeshift vessels with no lifesaving equipment,” said Cmdr. Gerard Wenk, Sector San Juan chief of response. “Anyone thinking of taking part in one of these voyages must understand that their life and the life of everyone in the voyage will be at risk.”
Furthermore, anyone who arrives unlawfully will be repatriated to their country of origin or returned to the country they departed and may also be declared ineligible for legal immigration parole options.
The Coast Guard, along with its Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast partners, maintains a continual presence with air, land, and sea assets in the Florida Straits, the Windward Passage, the Mona Passage, and the Caribbean Sea. The HSTF-SE combined, multi-layered approach is designed to protect the safety of life at sea while preventing unlawful maritime entry to the United States and its territories.
Since October 1, 2023, through November 30, 2023, the Coast Guard has carried out 14 unlawful irregular migration voyage interdictions in the Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico. Interdicted during this period, are 475 non-US citizens including 461 Dominicans, and 14 Haitians.
Since October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023, the Coast Guard has carried out 67 unlawful irregular maritime migration voyage interdictions in the Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico. Interdicted during this period, are 2,161 non-US citizens including 1,871 Dominicans, 264 Haitians, 15 Venezuelans, 07 Kazakhs, 01 Albanian, 02 Colombians and 01 unknown nationality.
Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier and Donald Horsley are 154-foot Sentinel-class fast response cutters homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.