POSTED: 10:32 am EST December 29, 2005
MIAMI—The Coast Guard returned 159 illegal Haitian and Cuban migrants to their homelands Wednesday, officials said.
The 51 Cuban migrants were returned to Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba and 108 Haitian migrants were repatriated to Cap Haitian, Haiti on Wednesday, said Coast Guard Lt. Petty Officer James Judge in Miami.
Coast Guard crews intercepted three separate Cuban vessels and two Haitian vessels between Dec. 15 and 26.
The number of captured migrants spiked to 2,834 in 2005 from 1,499 the previous year. It is the highest number since a mass exodus from Cuba in 1994 when 37,191 migrants were intercepted, said Judge.