U.S. Border Patrol/Miami Sector

118 Haitian Migrants Land on Florida Beach

A sailboat reached the shores of Key West, Florida, just before daybreak on Wednesday. In the early morning darkness, 118 Haitian migrants disembarked and made a break for the shoreline, according to the Border Patrol.

Just after 4:00 a.m., the migrants were apprehended by Miami Sector Border Patrol agents with the assistance of state and local law enforcement agencies. These included the Key West Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The migrants were examined by local EMS technicians and medically cleared at the scene. According to the migrants, they spent seven days at sea during their journey to the United States. Border Patrol officials said the migrants were transported to several facilities in the region for processing and disposition of their immigration cases.

Samuel Briggs II, the Chief Patrol Agent of the Border Patrol’s Miami Sector, featured a photo of the sailboat on an X post. In an image taken by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, migrants can be seen seated in bleachers awaiting transport by the Border Patrol.

According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Wednesday’s group of Haitian migrants is the largest single group to make landfall in Florida this fiscal year. Despite continued civil unrest and turmoil in Haiti, recent predictions of a large influx of Haitian migrants arriving on the shores of Florida as a result of the unrest have yet to materialize. According to CBP, the Miami Border Patrol sector has only encountered 30 Haitian migrants since October.

In preparation for the influx, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered additional state assets to the Keys and southern waters of the State of Florida in March. More than 250 additional law enforcement officers and soldiers, including air and sea craft, are currently deployed as part of DeSantis’ response force in preparation for any future surge in Haitian migrant arrivals.

The rampant gang violence and unrest plaguing Haiti has intensified and prompted action by the United Nations to resolve the widespread violence threatening the island nation. On Wednesday, several hundred Kenyan police officers met with Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille before their deployment to combat gang violence in the county. The Kenyan police officers are part of a United Nations-backed deployment of a 2,500-member response force, including police officers and soldiers from the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Chad, and Jamaica.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

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