Thursday, October 2, 2008

U.S. Coast Guard Repatriates 142 Haitian Migrants


The U.S. Coast Guard repatriated more than 140 Haitian migrants to their homeland, authorities said Tuesday.

On Saturday, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater spotted an overloaded 50-foot sail freighter about 12 miles north of Ile de la Tortue, Haiti.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Tampa took 142 migrants on board without incident. Once aboard, migrants were given food, water, shelter and medical attention.

The migrants were sent back to Port-au-Prince on Monday.

The repatriation comes as Haiti struggles to recover from an especially vicious hurricane season. At least 426 died as a result of the storms and a million were left homeless.

U.S. authorities have temporarily suspended deportations to Haiti until further notice. But those interdicted at sea are still being repatriated.

As of Sept. 23, the U.S. Coast Guard has interdicted 1,357 Haitian migrants this fiscal year, compared to 1,610 all of last year and 1,198 in 2006.

Source: MiamiHerald.Com

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