December 17, 2001

INS prepares to deport more than 160 Haitians

                 MIAMI, Florida (AP ) -- More than 160 Haitian migrants rescued off the
                 South Florida coast will be quickly deported, immigration officials said.

                 Dan Kane, spokesman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said the
                 migrants will go through "expedited removal," which can be completed in days or

                 "Interdiction and repatriation of undocumented migrants at sea has been, is and will
                 continue to be the policy of this government," Kane said.

                 Eighteen of the 185 migrants were released days after their December 3 rescue.

                 The migrants -- 142 men, 27 women, 15 boys and one girl -- made the 10-day
                 journey from Haiti in an overcrowded boat that ran aground near Biscayne National
                 Park. Two Haitians reported missing at sea have not been found.

                 Haitian migrants are usually repatriated immediately, but the Coast Guard and INS
                 officials ferried the boat to shore for safety reasons.

                 This year, the Coast Guard has intercepted 1,765 Haitian migrants, compared with
                 1,394 last year.

                  Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.