AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico –US Border Patrol apprehended 30 undocumented non-citizens on Tuesday during two separate migrant smuggling incidents in the coast of Aguadilla and Isabela.
In the early morning hours of Jan. 30, a Puerto Rico Police FURA unit intercepted a “yola” type makeshift vessel with 14 men: 12 adults from the Dominican Republic, 1 juvenile from the Dominican Republican and 1 Haitian juvenile.
Border Patrol agents transported the group to the Ramey station for removal proceedings.
At about 9:30 AM, a concerned citizen contacted Ramey Radio to inform of a migrant smuggling event near Jobos beach in Isabela.
Border Patrol agents, along with Isabela Municipal Police and Puerto Rico Police Department FURA agents searched the area, and after several hours, apprehended 16 migrants. All migrants claimed to be citizens of the Dominican Republic.
All migrants will be processed under title 8 of the US immigration law.
“Smugglers and bad actors continue to spread falsehoods and show complete disregard for the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable migrants venturing on the Mona Passage,” stated Desi DeLeon, Chief Patrol Agent for Ramey Sector. “We continue to warn migrants on the continuing dangers of such a journey.”
People who venture to cross the 80 nautical miles (130 kilometer) between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, on board a rustic and inadequate vessel, risk their lives, as well as the lives of law enforcement in both countries, tasked with the rescue mission.
The dangers of the trip a include: the victimization of undocumented immigrants from the smuggling organizations, the inconvenience of a criminal prosecution, and the loss of life at sea.
The Ramey Sector is one of the twenty-one Sectors spread out across the United States. Encompassing the U.S. territorial islands of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it is the only Border Patrol Sector located outside the continental United States. The Sector's entire border area is made up of coastline and its area of responsibility is made up of some 6,000 square miles of land and water area, including the twelve-mile band of territorial water surrounding the Islands.
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