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Illegal Immigrants From Haiti Apprehended

Virgin Islands National Park

National Park News

Virgin Islands PD officers stopped a safari-style taxi on Centerline Road inside the park around 11 p.m. on June 1st and found 32 people inside, all Haitian nationals who’d been smuggled onto one of the park’s southside beaches earlier that evening. They were held overnight on St. John, then transported to St. Thomas the next day by rangers and Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources officers and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for interviewing and possible deportation. ICE, VIPD and the park are following up on the investigation. A taxi operating under a commercial use agreement in the park may have been involved. Later that day, rangers investigated the probable drop area – a remote beach on Ramshead Bay – and found numerous bags of trash, piles of wet clothing, and human waste. They spent the afternoon cleaning the area and hauling out the refuse. Undocumented migrants continue to be smuggled into the U.S. via St. John, landing almost exclusively on park beaches. These incidents appear to be occurring about once every two weeks at a minimum. The smuggling activity causes aesthetic damage due to clothes and trash left behind and may also damage aquatic resources when the smuggling vessels beach and anchor.



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