INFLUX: More than 300 Haitian migrants apprehended in 48 hours

INFLUX: More than 300 Haitian migrants apprehended in 48 hours
A large group of suspected Haitian migrants apprehended by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) in September 2021. (RBDF PHOTO)

MATTHEW TOWN, INAGUA — More than 300 Haitian migrants were apprehended within the past 48-hours and are being detained at the police station in Inagua, according to the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF).

The increase in apprehensions comes amidst large-scale migration from Haiti after compounded challenges across the country, including political unrest, the COVID-19 pandemic and consecutive natural disasters.

The RBDF advised that while en route to Inagua with a group of 70 Haitian migrants who were apprehended earlier Thursday afternoon, another group of 151 migrants was apprehended that night.

According to reports, shortly after 8pm, the transporting vessel spotted a Haitian sloop five miles west of Inagua that had 123 men and 28 women aboard, who all appeared to be in fair health.

A group of Haitian migrants is spotted on a sloop in the southern Bahamas on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. (RBDF)

On Wednesday, 86 migrants were apprehended in the southern Bahamas after a sailing sloop was spotted and identified by US aerial reconnaissance.

The wooden sloop, which was some 52 nautical miles northwest of Great Inagua, carried 76 men and 10 women who were said to be in fair health.

This makes some 307 Haitian migrants apprehended within the past 48 hours.

RBDF officers and marines were yesterday providing security details for the migrants, who were being detained at the local police station on the island.

Last month, Haiti was struck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed and injured thousands of people and displaced thousands more.

This came after an ongoing political crisis came to a head with the assassination of President Jovenel Moise.

The country is also significantly challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic and a late start to vaccinations.

Some 15,000 migrants — the majority of whom are Haitian — were camped out at the border of Texas for several days in hopes of getting entry into the United States.

According to reports, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported about 2,000 migrants in recent days on chartered flights to Haiti.

The Biden administration has tried to deter more people from rushing to the border.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.