Human TraffickingMigrationNews

US Border Patrol, FURA apprehends 34 undocumented migrants on the coast of Isabela, Puerto Rico

US CBP agents and Puerto Rico Police Officers apprehended 34 undocumented migrants who made landfall onboard a vessel Wednesday morning near Los Bravos Beach in Isabela.

“Smugglers and bad actors continue to spread falsehoods and show complete disregard for the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable migrants venturing on the Mona Passage,” stated Desi DeLeon, Chief Patrol Agent for Ramey Sector.   “We continue to warn migrants on the continuing dangers of such a journey.”

On May 15, at approximately 1:25 AM (AST), a Ramey Sector Border Patrol Agent (BPA) detected a vessel traveling without navigation lights approximately three nautical miles north of Jobos Beach, Isabela.

The smuggling vessel made landfall to which a search of the area ensued.

Border Patrol Agents and FURA officers searched the area resulting in the arrest of 34 non-citizens: 5 men and 3 women from the Dominican Republic, and 20 men, 5 women, and 1 accompanied minor from Haiti. All non-citizens were transported to the Ramey Border Patrol Station for processing and removal proceedings. 

At approximately 6:30 AM, agents found an unidentified deceased woman near the smuggling vessel.  The Puerto Rico Police took the lead on the investigation of the deceased woman.

People who venture to cross the 80 nautical miles (130 kilometer) between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, on board a rustic and inadequate vessel, risk their lives, as well as the lives of law enforcement in both countries, tasked with the rescue mission.

The dangers of the trip a include: the victimization of undocumented immigrants from the smuggling organizations, the inconvenience of a criminal prosecution, and the loss of life at sea. 

The Ramey Sector is one of the twenty-one Sectors spread out across the United States. Encompassing the U.S. territorial islands of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it is the only Border Patrol Sector located outside the continental United States. The Sector’s entire border area is made up of coastline and its area of responsibility is made up of some 6,000 square miles of land and water area, including the twelve-mile band of territorial water surrounding the Islands.