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CBP AMO and Border Patrol Rescue 10 Haitians, Puerto Rico

CBP AMO and Border Patrol Rescue 10 Haitians, Puerto Rico
Archive image: Caribbean-based PAE maintenance staff and U.S. Air Force (USAF) personnel offload CBP Air and Marine Operations UH-60 Black Hawks from a C-5 Galaxy aircraft, in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. October 2, 2017.
Customs and Border Protection photo by Mani Albrecht.

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico— US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and Border Patrol agents teamed up Tuesday to rescue a group of 10 undocumented migrants Haitians left stranded by smugglers in Desecheo island, Puerto Rico.

“Smugglers have no respect for the security and well-being of the migrants they transport,” indicated Augusto Reyes, Director of the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. “Our agents will continue to use our advanced aeronautical capabilities to procure the safety and security of people in distress throughout our coastal borders.”

On Mar.6, a concerned citizen contacted the Ramey Sector indicating that a group of migrants Haitians were abandoned in Desecheo island, a desolated island 13 miles (21 km) from Rincón on the west coast of Puerto Rico.

With a rough sea state in the Mona Passage, impeding a safe removal on a boat, an AMO UH-60 Black Hawk was diverted from another mission to rescue the Haitians from the island, off Puerto Rico coast.

Ramey Sector Border Patrol Agents departed with the AMO crew and reached the migrants on the side of the island where they were abandoned. The agents guided the migrants through the rough terrain and elevation to another side of the island where the UH-60L Black Hawk was able to land. 

The 10 migrants, six males and four females, were in good health and were transported to the Ramey Border Patrol station for processing under US immigration law.

During World War II, and until 1952, Desecheo was used as a bombing range by the United States Armed Forces. From 1952 to 1964 the United States Air Force used Desecheo for survival training. In 1976 administration of the island was given to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and in 1983 it was designated as a National Wildlife Refuge.

CBP AMO safeguards our Nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond.  With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation’s interior.

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