Oct. 30, 2002 – Police picked up 24 illegal aliens, all of them adults, in three locations across St. John on Wednesday.
According to a release from Police Department headquarters on St. John, residents telephoned to report having seen groups of what appeared to be illegal aliens in Cruz Bay, Fish Bay and Catherineberg. The 24 persons taken into custody comprised 10 men and two women from China, six men and three women from Haiti, and three men from Colombia. All were believed to have arrived on island together.
The 24 were turned over to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for processing, joining an ongoing stream of illegal aliens who have found their way to St. John in the last few years. Most have been from China, with others coming from Haiti and elsewhere.
Many have come ashore on V.I. National Park land, but the group picked up on Wednesday didn't do so. Steve Clark, who heads enforcement activities at the park, said his staff did not have any information about them.
Late in August, a total of 58 illegal aliens arrived on St. John in four waves within a week.
Clark has said that the Chinese illegals typically come ashore with a map of the park such as those distributed at the Cruz Bay Visitor Center. Both Clark and Deputy Police Chief Angelo Hill have said that having to deal with the illegal aliens overburdens their staffs.
The INS does not get involved in apprehending aliens on St. John, although this is not the case in other jurisdictions. Its agents travel to the island from St. Thomas only to transport the individuals the INS facility on St. Thomas. Most are charged with illegal entry.
No further information could be obtained on the group picked up on Wednesday.
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