SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Nantucket repatriated 16 Dominican and Haitian migrants to La Romana, Dominican Republic Thursday morning, following an at-sea interdiction by Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) law enforcement crews Tuesday.
The crew of a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft located a 20-foot yola Monday morning, while patrolling waters approximately 12 nautical miles west of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. The migrants were traveling illegally to Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic.
The crew of a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit interdicted the migrant vessel as it approached Cabo Rojo, and they assisted in safely embarking all 21 migrants, five Haitian and 13 Dominican men and three Dominican women, aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Nantucket. The crew of the Nantucket conducted a background check on the interdicted migrants by collecting and processing their biographic information, including their digital fingerprints and facial photographs.
The Nantucket rendezvoused with Ramey Sector Border Patrol Agents in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico Wednesday, who conducted migrant interviews and took five Dominican men into custody to face judicial proceedings ashore for attempting to illegally reenter a U.S. territory.
The crew of the Nantucket repatriated the remaining 11 Dominicans at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday to La Romana, Dominican Republic, where they turned custody of the migrants over to awaiting Dominican Republic Naval authorities.
Coast Guard Cutter Nantucket is a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The concept of CBIG resulted from a March 2006 collaboration of local Homeland Security components that effectively stemmed the increased flow of traffic across the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In July 2006, CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air & Marine (A&M), Office of Field Operations (OFO), and Office of Border Patrol (OBP), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the United States Attorney ‘ s Office, District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid action (FURA) in their common goal of securing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal maritime traffic and gaining control of our nation’s Caribbean borders.