Immigration and border security authorities in the Turks and Caicos Islands have made a major interception of boats attempting to ferry illegal Haitian migrants to the territory.
Two boats reported to be carrying close to 400 Haitian migrants were spotted in the waters of the islands on Wednesday April 14th and escorted to shore where the occupants were detained pending deportation.
It’s one of the single largest human traffickings of Haitian migrants destined for the TCI which led the Immigration Arlington Musgrove to send a strong message to the masterminds of these operations.
“We will catch and prosecute you as the borders of the Turks and Caicos Islands are closed to illegal migration and related activities. So please do not waste your money attempting to enter these islands illegally. You will be sent back,” he warned.
His views were echoed by Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting who said, “These are challenging operations in a dangerous environment, and no matter the reason for those persons being on the sloops, their safety is paramount in our consideration.”
Over the years the Turks and Caicos Islands has seen a huge influx of illegal immigrants from Haiti who enter the territory by boat in a continuing human trafficking enterprise.
In a press statement, Immigration Minister Musgrove said:
“Maritime smuggling operations are dangerous and too frequently end in tragedy and death at sea. There are many different reasons that migrants attempt such unsafe voyages at sea, but none of them are worth the risk of life."
He said the landing on South Caicos is a further indication of the abuse of our borders by persons, adding that "this is something that we will not entertain."
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