Hope fades for dozens of migrants from capsized boat off Florida [Video]

The Coast Guard has so far searched about 7,500 nautical miles, an area the size of New Jersey, she said. The search was continuing on Wednesday, but at some point, she said, authorities would have to call off the operation because the chances of survival were getting slimmer.

Bahamian authorities said information about the boat and the people on board was still being collected.

“It’s all a blur right now,” said Keith Bell, Bahamas immigration minister. “We are communicating with our American counterparts, and we are also communicating with the Department of National Security to see what information is available, just to confirm whether or not it was indeed from Bimini and who these people were.”

The recent surge in maritime migrant smuggling to Florida and California has come as technology deployed along land borders has made it increasingly difficult to evade capture.

The number of Cubans making the perilous journey is lower than the large number that arrived before January 2017, when the Obama administration ended the policy that had allowed Cubans to remain legally in the United States once they touched down. American. But the numbers are rising rapidly as economic hardship intensifies on the Caribbean island.

Haitian migrants, who most often embark from the Bahamas, have frequently boarded rickety homemade boats, paying thousands of dollars to try to leave a country engulfed in gang violence, political upheaval and post-war misery. assassination of the former president and a deadly earthquake. Migrants from the Dominican Republic have also attempted to make the sea crossing.

Since early October, Coast Guard crews have intercepted 155 Dominicans and 129 Haitians near Puerto Rico, with hundreds more arrested in fiscal year 2021. In September, the Coast Guard arrested a boat carrying 104 Haitian migrants, stuck neck and neck, less than 20 miles from Miami.

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