How Dangerous is Illegal Immigration in Florida?
A report released in early February denotes that there are about 825,000 illegal immigrants in the state of Florida. That number has declined sharply since 2007, when the number of illegal immigrants amounted to about 1.05 million. The decrease might be a result from the Coast Guards’ increased efforts along the shores of South Florida. Even though the number is decreasing, there are still a significant number of illegal immigrants making it through the South Florida coastline.
The Dangers of Smuggling Illegal Immigrants
According to an article in WPTV News, the Coast Guard rescued a group of people whose boat capsized Tuesday morning. Chief Warrant Officer James Mullinax says it happened 17 miles east of the Riviera Beach coastline. The Coast Guard warned the group that they didn’t have their navigation lights on at about 2:30 a.m. The Coast Guard says the boat accelerated and tried to evade authorities.
At about 4 a.m., the 25-foot-vessel overturned. Mullinax says, “Trying to cross the straits of Florida in an overloaded vessel. It just ends in tragedy all too often”.
People spilled overboard. An eleventh person was also pulled and had to be taken to the hospital and is now in critical condition. Divers from the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Dept. recovered the twelfth person’s body four hours later. The victim was a woman. Her body was found underneath the boat. The other survivors were given food and medical attention. They claimed to be Jamaicans, the Coast Guard believes this to be an illegal immigrant case.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is now investigating if the passengers are indeed from Jamaica and if they were smuggled. There’s no decision yet on whether or not the people rescued will be sent back to their home country.