National Security

More than 100 migrants made landfall in the Florida Keys: Border Patrol


U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) said Monday that a boat carrying more than 100 migrants, reportedly involved in a maritime smuggling event, made landfall in the Florida Keys.

In a statement on Twitter, Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar, who is in charge of the Miami region, said agents along with federal, state and local partners were responding to “a maritime smuggling event involving over 100 migrants.”

There is a “coordinated response with our state, federal and local partners, making sure that we get medical and safety checks and then get these individuals processed and transported to our station,” Slosar said in a video message on Twitter.
The boat was carrying 123 migrants and landed about 20 miles north of Key West, Fla., CBP said in a statement on Tuesday.

“At approximately 11:30 am Monday, a good Samaritan notified law enforcement that a suspected migrant vessel was close to running aground with approximately 100 people on board. Soon thereafter the vessel ran aground near a residential shoreline in Summerland Key, Florida. All migrants onboard the vessel disembarked, and all safely swam to shore,” CBP added.   

According to CBP, responding law enforcement was able to immediately secure the area without incident and rendered first aid to a few migrants needing assistance due to dehydration. 

CBP said the group told authorities at the scene that they had departed La Tortue Island, Haiti on March 9.

“While on scene, I witnessed the great work being done to ensure the safety of these migrants whose lives were put at risk by smugglers. The migrants will be detained and processed for removal proceedings,” Slosar said in a statement.

The Haitian migrants were transported to the Marathon and Dania Beach Border Patrol Stations for further processing and will be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, according to CBP.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office told local news channel WSVN that the migrants gathered outside an oceanfront home in Summerland Key, which is located approximately 20 miles north of Key West.

This incident comes a week after Border Patrol confirmed that a boat reportedly carrying hundreds of Haitian migrants made landfall in the Florida Keys area. 
The boat was carrying approximately 300 migrants, many of whom were in need of medical attention. Slosar specified in a series of tweets that 163 of them swam to shore after the boat started to sink.
Updated at 12:22 p.m.
Tags CBP Customs and Border Patrol Florida

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