By the Caribbean Journal staff
Turks and Caicos officials have confirmed the landing of a vessel containing at least 17 illegal migrants from Haiti on Wednesday.
The arrival of the migrants is the latest in a series of sloops arriving in Turks and Caicos from Haiti, something which has led to increased tensions between the two Caribbean neighbours.
The vessel made landfall in the Governors Beach area, according to the Ministry of Border Control and Labour.
Officials said they had not been able to confirm the number of people on the vessel, although 17 people were apprehended.
The Ministry is conducting a search for those who “may have already blended with the community.”
Outgoing Turks and Caicos Governor Ric Todd told Caribbean Journal in an interview last month that the government had made clear to the administration of Haiti President Michel Martelly that Turks and Caicos saw illegal migration from Haiti as a “real problem.” He also said that the government was committed to integrating legal migrants from Haiti into TCI society.
According to Todd, the Turks and Caicos Islands spends 1 percent of its budget every year repatriating migrants from Haiti.