Published February 23, 2004
The refugees represent the largest influx of Haitians to Jamaica since thousands fled here in the mid-1990s after Aristide (search) was ousted in a military coup.
The 17 men, eight women and seven children arrived Monday in a rickety sailboat near the coastal town of Manchioneal, about 100 miles east of Haitian shores, police said.
Local fishermen helped the Haitians ashore and authorities took them into custody. Jamaican authorities are reviewing their asylum request.
On Thursday, 20 gaunt and scantily clad Haitians landed near the same town and are receiving shelter. Five days earlier, 10 Haitians, including eight police officers, fled to Jamaica seeking asylum after being attacked by rebels seeking to oust Aristide, officials said.
The Dominican Republic warned Monday it couldn't handle a large influx of Haitians and has announced steps to fortify its 225-mile border with its impoverished neighbor.
U.S. authorities have also increased patrols around Haiti's waters for signs of fleeing migrants, but haven't reported a significant increase in the number of Haitians detained.