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9932: U.S. Coast Guard repatriates 128 Haitian migrants (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

U.S. Coast Guard repatriates 128 Haitian migrants

December 10, 2001, 4:36 PM EST

MIAMI -- Almost 130 Haitian migrants were taken home by the Coast Guard on 
Monday after being picked up at sea over the weekend, the latest in a stream 
of Haitians trying to come to the United States.

A group of 43 migrants, traveling on a wooden sailboat, was picked up by the 
Coast Guard just north of the impoverished Caribbean nation on Friday.

Another group, of 85 people, was found north of Cuba on Saturday, the Coast 
Guard said in a statement.

Some 1,765 Haitian migrants have been intercepted at sea by the Coast Guard 
and sent home this year, compared with 1,394 for 2000. In recent weeks, U.S. 
officials have been concerned over a false rumor circulating in Haiti that 
U.S. policy has changed on migrants.

``That is simply not true,'' Lt. Cmdr. Ron LaBrec, a Coast Guard spokesman, 
said of the rumors that visa requirements had been relaxed because of a need 
for more workers after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

``The Coast Guard will interdict and repatriate any migrants who attempt to 
illegally enter the United States,'' he said.

During a three-day period in November, the Coast Guard intercepted 350 
Haitians trying to make the 600-mile ocean journey to Florida in five boats. 
Two boats carrying more than 200 Haitians disappeared at sea last month.
Copyright  2001, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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