Coast Guard Seizes, Sends Back Migrant Boat

A Coast Guard vessel intercepted three boats carrying migrants from the Dominican Republic and sent them back to the Caribbean nation this week. The news came amid increased concerns over the Dominican Republic’s neighbor Haiti, which is going through a period of near-anarchy and efforts by the state of Florida to return migrants from the country.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos intercepted the boats in the Caribbean Monday and forced the migrants back to the Dominican Republic.

Coast Guard San Jose Sector Commander Gerard Wenk said that the branch of the military “works daily with our local, federal and Dominican Republic Navy partners in our shared and unwavering resolve to stop unlawful maritime migration voyages in the Mona Passage.”

Florida blocked a boat carrying Haitian migrants last month as part of a program run by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). Overall, the state was able to block more than 13,000 migrants from entering the state since the beginning of 2023.

DeSantis said that the state’s Fish and Wildlife office interdicted a vessel carrying 25 potential illegal immigrants from Haiti. He said that the migrants had “firearms, they had drugs, they had night vision gear and were boating very recklessly, which would potentially endanger other folks.”

“The message is the last thing you should want to do is get on a boat and think you’re going to come through from any of these islands to get to the state of Florida. The most likely scenario is you’ll be stopped, and you will be returned to your country of origin,” said the governor. “It’s a hazardous journey, it’s not worth doing, and we have the resources to continue to keep the people of Florida safe.”

The Pentagon warned about thousands of illegal immigrants potentially flowing to the state from Haiti as the country’s government teeters on collapse. Groups of armed gangs patrol much of the country.

The United States government advised American citizens to leave Haiti and Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) has organized a series of successful efforts to evacuate Americans from the country.