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Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Coast Guard repatriates 107 Haitian Migrants

By Trenton Daniel

Crew members on the Cutter Vigilant spotted a grossly overloaded sail freighter about 19 miles southwest of Great Inagua, Bahamas, on Sunday. The crew launched its small boat and distributed life jackets to 107 migrants.

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, migrants are given food, water, shelter and any necessary medical attention.

The migrants were sent back to Cap-Haitien, a seaside city located in northern Haiti.

The Coast Guard has interdicted 1,313 Haitian migrants since Oct. 1, compared to 1,610 interdictions in all of 2007.

The repatriation on Tuesday comes as Haiti wrestles with soaring food prices and mounting political instability. In April, at least six people were killed in food-related protests and Haitian lawmakers fired the prime minister.

The Haitian government has yet to approve a successor.

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