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The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says law enforcement authorities have intercepted 126 undocumented migrants from the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Haiti in four separate events since January 20.
The CBP said working under the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG), 30 of the migrants with prior immigration or criminal records will be prosecuted for attempting to re-enter the United States.
“There are subjects with previous aggravated felony convictions in the United States, including alien smuggling, narcotics violations and weapons law violations.
“Our CBIG partnership provides for a force multiplication to address smuggling ventures in the Mona Passage,” said Ramiro Cerrillo, Chief Border Patrol Agent for Ramey Sector. “
Migrants continue to place themselves at the mercy of smugglers who have complete disregard for their safety knowing all the dangers involved.”
CBP said its Air and Marine Operations DHC-8Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) had on Wednesday detected a “yola,” or small vessel, and that a total of 21 undocumented migrants from the Dominican Republic and Haiti were found.
“A CBP aircraft consistently patrols throughout our Caribbean area with a firm determination to detect smuggling attempts,” said Johnny Morales, Director of Air Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. “These four interceptions demonstrate our collective capabilities to deter attempts into our borders.”
On January 22, the US authorities detained 37 migrants, including two Cubans, two Haitians and 33 Dominican Republic nationals, one day after finding 38 undocumented immigrants on board another vessel.
CBP said the US Coast Guard repatriated a group of 64 migrants to the Dominican Republic this week.
“CBP maintains a strong position regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws along the country’s borders and coastal areas.”