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The Border Patrol detained 22 Haitians who arrived on the shores of Palm Beach, in southern Florida, the federal agency reported on Friday.
In a Twitter message, the Miami office of the Border Patrol announced that early today, officers of this agency, along with state agencies, responded “to a maritime smuggling event that made landfall on a boat near Palm Beach.”
The 22 immigrants from Haiti were aboard a boat about 25 feet (7.5 meters) long and, according to authorities, were found at the boundary between Palm Beach and the Lake Worth Pier.
The Border Patrol explained they were conducting a sea and land search in the vicinity where the immigrants were found to find out if there were more involved in the operation.
Earlier this month, the Coast Guard intercepted off the coast of Florida a boat with 25 Haitians on board, including seven minors, after requesting assistance when they were about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Jupiter, in southeast Florida.
According to the Coast Guard, since October 1, 2020, 181 Haitians have been apprehended attempting to reach Florida’s shores, while in the entire fiscal year 2020 (October 1 2019 to September 30, 2020) 418 migrants from that country were apprehended.
These figures represent the total number of interceptions in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Florida Straits.
Haiti is currently experiencing a deep political crisis which worsened last February 7, with the denunciation of the coup d’état and the arrest of some twenty opponents involved in the alleged plot.