A Miami boat capsizes killing at least four women on Wednesday morning. The deceased were part of a group of Haitian and Jamaican nationals making a journey into U.S. waters off Miami. According to the L.A. Times on Oct. 16, the Coast Guard reached the area of the boat Wednesday morning helping pull survivors from the ocean waters after the recreational vehicle they were crammed into capsized.
Authorities are questioning the survivors to see if they were coming to the U.S. to immigrate or if they are part of human smuggling for sex trafficking or for other illegal purposes. This tragic accident is the result of traveling in a crammed boat at night, which is not made for the high seas. The were also making this journey without any safety equipment on board.
The Coast Guard’s fiscal year for 2013 ended on Sept. 30 and they have picked up 508 Haitians and 1,378 Cubans at sea. It’s only been a few weeks into the new fiscal year, but so far the Coast Guard reports 117 Cubans and 73 Haitians have been picked up out at sea.
When Cubans reach the shores of the U.S., they are usually allowed to stay. If they are intercepted at sea, they are usually told to turn back. A less favorable status is given to other national groups and if they make it to the U.S. they are usually sent back to their own country. This is a gigantic risk to take just to chance being sent back home.