20 Dominicans deported after attempting to enter Puerto Rico illegally
The U.S. Coast Guard conducted the operation between Sunday and Tuesday.
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Twenty Dominicans were detained for trying to illegally enter Puerto Rico.
In a press release on Tuesday, Aug. 30, the U.S. Coast Guard explained that the operation was carried out when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection aircraft sighted a suspicious 22-foot (7-meter) boat in Paseo de la Mona, west of the island.
The Coast Guard dispatched their vessel Heriberto Hernandez, which detained the migrants on board.
After the detention, the Coast Guard delivered the detained migrants to the vessel Joseph Tezanos for proper return to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
"For those thinking of taking an illegal voyage, we urge you not to do so by sea," said Jose E. Diaz, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard in San Juan.
"This trip is extremely dangerous, while it puts their lives in danger, as well as those of the other people who also make this journey. These trips usually take place in unseaworthy vessels, overloaded with people and without life-saving equipment for them," he added.
The operation was made possible through the efforts of the Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).
The CBIG was formally created to unify the efforts of U.S. agencies in Puerto Rico and local law enforcement with the common goal of protecting the coasts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands from immigration and drug trafficking.
The Coast Guard conducted 72 stoppages in the Mona Passage from Oct. 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
According to EFE, during that time, authorities detained 1,919 citizens who attempted to enter Puerto Rico illegally, including 1,414 Dominicans, 404 Haitians, 52 Venezuelans, 12 Uzbeks, one Ecuadorian, one Cuban and 35 of undisclosed nationalities.