U.S. Embassy Statement about migrant ventures

The United States remains concerned about repeated maritime migrant ventures from Haiti, several of which have resulted in the deaths of Haitian citizens. There are many different reasons that migrants attempt such unsafe voyages at sea, but none of them are worth the risk of life.

The dangers of migrant ventures at sea are multi-faceted. The boats intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard and its partners are often severely overloaded, of poor quality, and lack safety equipment. These boats are often operated by smugglers, who have demonstrated little to no regard for the lives of Haitians in their pursuit for profit. Smugglers have been known to throw passengers overboard, or abandon their vessels.  In some cases, smugglers are actually human traffickers who exploit migrants through some form of servitude, sexual exploitation, or other criminal activities.

Numerous U.S. agencies and their international partners are working around the clock to deter and stop these unsafe voyages before they end in tragedy. Too often these unsafe voyages result in loss of life, and they almost always result in a considerable waste of effort, precious resources, and time for the migrants themselves.

As a longtime partner and friend of Haiti, the United States shares Haiti’s desire for a better future for its people.  As we work towards a more safe, secure, and prosperous Haiti, we urge anyone against undertaking these voyages.