Large group of Haitian migrants land in Florida Keys

Firefighters attend to a migrant boat carrying up to 100 people from Haiti early Monday morning, January 10, 2022, off Key Largo.

Firefighters attend to a migrant boat carrying up to 100 people from Haiti early Monday morning, January 10, 2022, off Key Largo.

For the third time in as many months, a group of Haitian migrants has landed in the Florida Keys.

The last group of over 100 arrived late Sunday evening and arrived near the shores of the exclusive gated community of Ocean Reef north of Key Largo shortly after 11 p.m. It is almost exactly the same place that two other boats from Haiti carrying large numbers of people arrived.

The latest group is the largest group of Haitians to have crossed the Strait of Florida since the boats resumed arriving in November after a two-year hiatus.

Authorities were slow to release details of the arrival, but at least six people from the group were taken to hospital, according to Key Largo firefighters.

Key Largo Fire Captain David Garrido said his men transported three of the migrants to Tavernier Sailors Hospital and Ocean Reef medics transported three more.

“They were all taken to the Mariners and treated for fatigue,” Garrido said.

Haiti boat.jpg
Fifty-two Haitian migrants disembarked in the Florida Keys aboard this boat on Friday, December 24, 2021, according to the authorities. American border patrol

Miami Dade Fire Rescue said 11 of its units responded to a situation near Ocean Reef, possibly referring to reports of more than 100 people on board a boat, with around 20 people needing assessment and medical care.

“Everyone was taken off the ship. There were four patients in total. Two adult patients and two pediatric patients were transported by land to a local hospital, ”the Miami Dade Fire rescue said in a statement.

On November 18, 2021, 63 Haitian migrants arrived aboard a rickety wooden sailboat in the Upper Florida Keys after spending three weeks at sea, some migrants told US Customs and Border Protection. Then, on Christmas Eve, a second group of 52 migrants landed on Card Sound Road in Key Largo.

As of January 6, the United States has returned 13,320 Haitians to Haiti aboard 125 Immigration and Customs Enforcement charter flights since mid-September, according to the International Organization for Migration, when the Biden administration announced that it was stepping up deportations to Haiti after thousands of migrants arrived at the southern border of the United States and camped under an international bridge in Del Rio, Texas.

This is a developing story.

This story was originally published January 10, 2022 10:02 a.m.

Jacqueline Charles has reported on Haiti and the English-speaking Caribbean for the Miami Herald for over a decade. A Pulitzer Prize finalist for her coverage of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, she received the 2018 Maria Moors Cabot Prize, the most prestigious award for coverage of the Americas.

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