79 Haitians have been transferred to the Bahamas following two suspected smuggling ventures in Florida
According to the US Coast Guard, they were transferred on the cutter Rollin Fritch after being spotted about eight miles east of Lake Worth Inlet in Southern Florida.
The US Coast Guard said officials at Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office notified Sector Miami watchstanders of a suspicious 30-foot boat that was taking on water, on November 25, at approximately 10:30 pm.
“Don’t waste your hard-earned money on smugglers and illegal voyages. Smugglers do not care whether your loved ones live or die,” said Acting Lieutenant Nicholas Fujimoto, Coast Guard District Seven.
The repatriations of illegal immigrants, mostly Haitians, which have recently intensified in towns in the eastern region, average between 800 and 1,000 per day. These men and women and even children risk their lives for a better future
Once the wealthiest colony in the Americas, Haiti is now the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, with more than half of its population living below the World Bank’s poverty line.
Foreign intervention and debt, political instability, and natural disasters have stymied the Caribbean country’s development.
The assassination of Haiti’s president, growing civil unrest, and the ongoing pandemic have increasingly challenged the Biden administration’s plans for closer ties.