National Security

Vessel Packed With Migrants Rams Into Law Enforcement Boat In Florida

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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A vessel full of migrants in Florida rammed into a law enforcement authorities’ boat Friday, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The sheriff’s Marine Unit deputy intercepted a boat with 14 migrants near the Jupiter Inlet before the ramming, the sheriff’s office said. As a result, the deputy’s boat suffered damage to two engines. (RELATED: Current, Former CBP Officials Rip Biden Admin For Focusing On ‘Chestfeeding Awareness’ During Border Crisis)

“Our PBSO Helicopter and additional marine unit vessels pursued the suspect vessel. The boat captain beached the vessel just north of the Juno pier when he was immediately apprehended by responding road patrol deputies and Jupiter police officers,” the sheriff’s office said.

BAL HARBOUR, FL – NOVEMBER 13: A Border Patrol agent investigates a boat that was found washed ashore on Haulover Beach on November 13, 2013 in Haulover Beach, Florida. The Border Patrol were investigating whether migrants may have been on board. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Authorities encountered 16 Haitian migrants and one Bahamian when the vessel landed, Border Patrol said in a statement Friday. Additionally, authorities arrested the boat’s captain, Bazaeluis Francois, who is now charged with two counts of aggravated battery on a police officer.

Border Patrol has seen an increase in illegal immigration in Florida in recent years. Agents apprehended more than 5,500 migrants between October 2022 and July, and roughly 4,000 in fiscal year 2022, according to federal data.

The illegal migrant encounters in Florida were roughly 2,000 in fiscal year 2021 and 2020 combined, according to the data.

Federal authorities were also recently alerted to a new smuggling route for Chinese migrants to get to Florida via the Bahamas, according to an internal document exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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