Over the New Year weekend, law enforcement partners of the Southeast Homeland Security Task Force intercepted several sea-based human smuggling operations leading to the capture of nearly 1,400 migrants in the Florida Keys and other coastal areas. Breitbart News reports that smuggling interdictions took place on heavily overloaded boats.
Rear Admiral Brendan C. McPherson, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District and Director of HSTF-SE, said in a written statement:
Illegal maritime voyages in the Caribbean are always dangerous and very often deadly. Smugglers routinely exploit vulnerable migrants for profit while putting their lives at risk aboard overloaded and un-seaworthy vessels. These dangerous voyages must not be attempted. Safe, legal, and orderly migration saves lives.
Between Fri. Dec. 30, 2022 to Mon. Jan. 1, 2023, HSTF-SE interdicted/encountered:— Homeland Security Task Force - Southeast (HSTF-SE) (@HSTF_Southeast) January 5, 2023
• 606 migrants at sea;
• 59 migrants on Marquesas;
• 364 migrants on @DryTortugasNPS;
• 326 migrants in Florida Keys;
• 27 migrants on Isla Monito b/t Dom. Rep. & Puerto Rico;
“U.S. Border Patrol Miami Sector Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar tweeted a video showing an overloaded sailing vessel with more than 130 migrants onboard off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. Smugglers packed many of the migrants below deck placing them in life-threatening conditions,” reports Breitbart News.
#Update: Yesterday, #BorderPatrol agents with support from @HSTF_Southeast encountered over 130 #Haitian migrants in Key Largo #Florida. The migrants arrived on an overloaded sailing vessel and were packed in the lower deck. These voyages are dangerous and potentially deadly. pic.twitter.com/cmAI7f5GTq— Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar (@USBPChiefMIP) January 4, 2023
Since fiscal year 2023 began, the Miami border sector has seen a 400% increase in alien encounters, stated officials. Since August, the Homeland Security Task Force encountered 7,784 migrants at sea and 4,401 migrants who managed to land on Florida beaches.
For context, the Breitbart News article concludes, “Between August and November 2022, Miami Sector agents apprehended 3,558 migrants. During the entire Fiscal Years 20 and 21 combined, these agents apprehended only 2,333 migrants.”
You can read the full article here.
Updated: Thu, May 11th 2023 @ 3:23pm EDT