July 1, 2002 – Police on St. Croix apprehended 20 Chinese nationals at the Rainbow Beach Club on Frederiksted's north side after a resident reported seeing a suspicious group in the area early Sunday morning. Witnesses said the immigrants were waving and shouting for political asylum.
The popular swimming and recreation spot is located adjacent to the roadside and visible to passing motorists. The 14 men and six women swam ashore from a boat that reportedly had picked them up from several islands.
When Police Chief Angel Santos was asked why he thought they chose the Frederiksted beach he said, "It is the shortest route to the town and the Police Department. Someone obviously knows the island." Earlier this year, a group of immigrants was dropped off at the Cane Bay beach and walked more than five miles to the North Shore Road, where they were picked up by authorities.
An advice-of-rights hearing on illegal entry charges took place at 9:30 a.m. Monday in District Court on St. Croix, where a tentative date of July 11 was set for preliminary hearings. The aliens are being held at the Golden Grove Correctional Facility. Efforts to obtain further information from Immigration and Naturalization Service authorities on St. Croix and in Puerto Rico were unsuccessful.
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