The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a 35-foot sailboat with 104 Haitian migrants after the boat was spotted in Florida waters.
The migrants spent six days sailing from Haiti in hopes of reaching the United States but were intercepted by the Coast Guard on Sunday, just 18 miles off the coast of Biscayne Bay, south of Miami.
‘There were way too many people on board,’ U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Ryan Estrada said, according to WPLG television.
The U.S. Coast Guard’s 7th District said the migrant were removed from the overcrowded boat and transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge.
The U.S. Coast Guard stopped a 35-foot boat with 104 Haitian migrants after the vessel was spotted in Florida waters on Sunday
The 104 migrants – all natives of Haiti – spent five days sailing across the Atlantic and were initially spotted by a Good Samaritan who alerted the U.S. Coast Guard. The individuals were transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge and later provided medical treatment
U.S. Coast Guard approaches a vessel (left) with 104 Haitian migrants after the boat was spotted 18 miles off the coast of Miami
‘Once aboard a cutter, all migrants (received) food, water, shelter and basic medical attention,’ the Coast Guard said.
Despite the cross Atlantic voyage, none of the migrants were diagnosed with medical issues.
‘Our message is, ‘Don’t take to the sea in any shape or form. It’s always dangerous. Water conditions can change on a moments notice. Weather conditions can change on a moments notice and we advise don’t do it,’ Estrada said.
The incident came after the Coast Guard stopped a 24-food vessel about three miles of Juno Beach last Tuesday and transferred 12 Haitian migrants to Bahamian authorities.
According to Coast Guard data, 502 Haitian migrants have been interdicted in U.S. waters since October 1, 2020 – the start of fiscal year 2021. In comparison, 418 Haitians were stopped in fiscal year 2020.
Biden administration extends deportation relief for immigrants from 6 countries
The United States will extend deportation relief and work permits for more than 300,000 Salvadorans, Hondurans and other immigrants in the United States and enrolled in a program known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), according to an announcement last Thursday.
The renewals for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan will last until December 31, 2022, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and were required as part of ongoing litigation over former President Donald Trump’s attempts to end most enrollment in the program.
Biden, a Democrat, has championed and broadened the TPS program, which gives work permits and deportation relief to immigrants in the United States who come from countries hit by violence or natural disasters
The ‘extension ensures continued compliance with various court orders issued by federal district courts,’ the announcement from USCIS said. Current beneficiaries under the TPS designations do not need to pay a fee or file any application to maintain their TPS and have their TPS-related documentation automatically extended through the designated period.
The move will disappoint some Democrats and pro-immigrant activists who had pressed President Joe Biden’s administration to expand the program to include hundreds of thousands of additional immigrants instead of simply extending the program for those already enrolled.
Biden, a Democrat, has championed and broadened the TPS program, which gives work permits and deportation relief to immigrants in the United States who come from countries hit by violence or natural disasters. Trump, a Republican tried to end it but was blocked in federal court. Several of the designations have been renewed for decades.
Since Biden took office on January 20, his administration has granted deportation relief to about 500,000 Venezuelans and Haitians through the TPS program. The administration also has extended protections to thousands of people from Myanmar, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
Biden announced on August 5 that he would also offer deportation relief to what could be thousands of Hong Kong residents in the United States, citing anti-democratic actions by China in Hong Kong.