SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon repatriated 27 Dominican nationals to a Dominican Republic Navy vessel Wednesday, following the interdiction of an illegal voyage vessel in waters north of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
The interdiction is the result of ongoing local and federal multi-agency efforts of the Caribbean Border Interagency Group CBIG.
Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon interdicted a 25-foot makeshift boat Monday, after it was initially detected by the aircrew of a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine maritime enforcement aircraft, approximately 30 nautical miles north of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Following the interdiction, the crew of the cutter Richard Dixon safely embarked 24 men and three adult women from the makeshift boat.
“Irregular migration aboard grossly overloaded makeshift vessels are highly dangerous and puts lives at risk,” said Capt. José E. Díaz, Sector San Juan commander. “We are committed to saving lives and call anyone thinking of taking part in an illegal voyage to not take to the sea. If caught, you could be returned to your country of origin, placed in removal proceedings or be ineligible for parole.”
From Oct. 1, 2022 through February 28, 2023, the Coast Guard has carried out 19 illegal voyage interdictions in the Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico. Interdicted during this period, are 562 non-U.S. citizens, including 462 Dominicans, 98 Haitians and one of unknown nationality.
Family members in the United States inquiring about possible family members interdicted at sea, please contact your local U.S. representative. Relatives located outside the United States please contact your local U.S. Embassy.
CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. 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, in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.