AGUADILLA, PUERTO RICO—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended 17 undocumented immigrants, 15 citizens of Haiti and 2 citizens of the Dominican Republic yesterday after they landed in Mona Island.
A notification of a possible migrant incursion at Playa Pajaros Mona Island by Park Rangers from the Puerto Rico Department of Environmental and Natural Resources alerted Border Patrol, requiring the deployment of a group of agents via a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.
Upon arrival, Border Patrol agents apprehended two men who claimed to be nationals of the Dominican Republic. An extensive search and rescue operation ensued through the inhospitable natural reserve resulting in the apprehension of 15 migrants, all claiming to be nationals of Haiti. Border Patrol agents administered first aid to a significant number of migrants who had symptoms of dehydration.
In the evening, a USCG cutter transported the group to the Mayaguez Port of Entry for immigration processing by Border Patrol.
The Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym), in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.