The U.S. Coast Guard stopped a boat with more than 100 migrants on board this weekend after the vessel attempted to sail from Haiti to Florida.
The incident took place Sunday, when an eyewitness called in the suspicious activity, a regional Coast Guard spokesman told the Washington Examiner on Monday. A statement from the Department of Homeland Security dubbed the eyewitness a "Good Sam" for reporting a "migrant voyage."
Coast Guardsmen dispatched to the scene found a rickety boat crammed with people 18 miles off the coast of Biscayne Bay, south of Miami.
The Coast Guard initially reported 80 people on board, but later stated that 104 people were found on the boat. The migrants were transferred to a much larger ship, the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge.
Migrants were provided food, water, shelter outside of the sun, and medical care.
The Coast Guard declined to comment on additional details, including the repatriation process and details about the voyage.
The Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection have been apprehending more people attempting to illegally migrate from Cuba and Haiti to the United States by way of Florida this year.
The Department of Homeland Security last week extended eligibility for Haitians who are illegally residing in the U.S. to apply for protection from deportation under the Temporary Protected Status program. Under TPS, countries facing severe hardship are exempted from having to repatriate citizens deported from the U.S. on the basis that they are not in a position to take them in.
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Original Author: Anna Giaritelli
Original Location: Coast Guard stops 104 Haitian migrants in boat off Miami coast