SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol say four dozen migrants have been abandoned by smugglers on two barren islands off Puerto Rico in recent days.
Border Patrol spokesman Jeffrey Quinones says 42 men and women from Haiti and five migrants from Cuba have been rescued in three incidents on the islands of Mona and Monito.
The two uninhabited islands are in the deep Mona Passage that separates the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
Quinones said Monday that the migrants were taken into Border Patrol custody after they were left to fend for themselves on the islands. Haitians are generally repatriated while Cubans who reach U.S. territory can stay in the country.
Separately, the Royal Bahamas Defense Force reported it has detained 76 Haitian migrants in the Exuma chain.