KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Authorities are investigating after taking over 40 Haitian migrants into custody in Miami-Dade County.
Officials received a call around 3 p.m. Tuesday regarding possible migrants who had illegally come ashore in Key Biscayne, in the area of Crandon Park.
U.S. Border Patrol and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were among the responding agencies.
Local 10 News spotted three of the men that officers had tracked down and detained on the median of Crandon Boulevard.
Witnesses pointed agents in the direction of two other men running away inside the golf course at Crandon Park.
Chief Patrol Agent Thomas G. Martin with the U.S. Border Patrol posted on Twitter that a total of 42 people were taken into custody.
Update: 42 Haitian nationals were taken into #BorderPatrol custody following the event this afternoon. The event is currently under investigation. The vessel involved will be seized. We appreciate all of the support from our partner agencies. #breakingnews #florida #haiti— Chief Patrol Agent Thomas G. Martin (@USBPChiefMIP) August 24, 2021
Among the migrants were men, women and children.
Alexandra Audate is an immigration attorney. She is also Haitian American.
“I am heartbroken but not surprised,” she said. “Coming to the United States by boat is always dangerous and it’s so sad, but survival is really, really key here, and people are going through a lot.”
Audate said the migrants’ arrival is not surprising in light of Haiti’s earthquake crisis.
She hopes they get due process instead of being immediately sent back.
“My hope is that all 42 of them will be given a parole and be released to their relatives, their friends, their loves ones, and that they have the opportunity to be heard in court, in a non-detained setting,” Audate said.
Border Patrol said for now, all the migrants would be detained as the investigation into their arrival continued.