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#3391: 31 illegal Haitian immigrants detained (fwd)
Published Saturday, April 29, 2000, in the Miami Herald
31 illegal Haitian immigrants detained By WANDA J. DeMARZO
A Fort Lauderdale man driving to work early Friday morning was startled
to see several men running toward his car yelling, ``Fort Lauderdale,
Fort Lauderdale.'' Around 4:30 a.m. Darryl Feinman was driving to work
in Hillsboro Beach along State Road A1A when he saw dozens of people
coming out of some bushes about three miles south of Hillsboro
Boulevard. Feinman said he pulled over to see what was going on and
realized the group of about 30 people were Haitian immigrants.
``There were three little children with the adults, and they were
really cute,'' Feinman said. ``It seemed like they wanted to be caught.
If they wanted to go to Fort Lauderdale, they sure weren't going in the
right direction.'' Feinman said the Haitians were dressed in nice jeans,
button-down shirts and wore Nike and Adidas sneakers. He called
Hillsboro Police and gave the children candy and toys. Feinman bought
water and bread for the group. Hillsboro Police contacted Border Patrol.
``Hillsboro Police said 60 illegal aliens came ashore, but we only
found 31,'' said Border Patrol spokesman Joe Mellia. ``We searched for
two hours but didn't find them. We have no idea where they went.''
The people were taken to Border Patrol headquarters in Pembroke Pines
and questioned until late afternoon, then taken to Krome Detention
Center around 5 p.m., Mellia said. This is the second time in two days
that Haitian immigrants have reached shore in South Florida. Late
Wednesday night 15 Haitians were dropped near Key Biscayne by a motor
boat running without lights, said U.S. Customs Special Agent Zach Mann.
Customs agents intercepted the boat and turned over the two men in it
to Border Patrol. The men, one Bahamian and one Haitian were detained as
illegal migrants. The group of Haitians questioned by Border Patrol and
taken to Krome where they are still being held. Mellia said the calm
seas over the last two days may have contributed to the increase in the
number of undocumented Haitians coming ashore.