[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

#5012: 15 Haitian Migrants Come Ashore in Florida (fwd)

From: nozier@tradewind.net

15 Haitian Migrants Come Ashore in Florida
 Updated 4:25 PM ET September 3, 2000

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - Fifteen Haitians were pulled from the
surf and another may have died in a probable migrant smuggling venture,
U.S. authorities said on Sunday. The Haitians told authorities they were
smuggled to Florida on a boat that took  eight days to make the 600-mile
journey from their Caribbean homeland to  Florida. But it was more
likely that they were brought to Florida from the nearby Bahamas, less
than 100 miles away, the U.S. Border Patrol said.  Haitians frequently
set sail in small boats from their impoverished home -- the
poorest country in the western hemisphere -- to attempt to reach
prosperity in the United States. Often they end up in the Bahamas, a
chain of more than 700  islands stretching from just north of Haiti to
Florida. The Haitians were found in the water just off Riviera Beach,
about 75 miles north of Miami, late Saturday.
 "From initial reports, the smuggler stopped some distance from shore
and told them to swim to shore, and according to some reports,
physically threw some  people off the boat," Border Patrol spokesman Joe
Mellia said. The surviving Haitians told authorities that a woman who
had been with them  was last seen "floundering in the water" and did not
reach shore, Mellia said. The U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday suspended its
search for the missing woman. Authorities were investigating a vessel
found in the area to determine if it was used to transport the Haitians.
No arrests had been made, Mellia said.  Two of the migrants were being
treated in a hospital on Sunday. The rest were taken to an immigration
detention center near