File photo. Colombians came to the rescue of Haitians attempting to emigrate and adrift in an unseaworth vessel.
Colombian fishermen have rescued 94 Haitian migrants who were adrift on a motorboat in the Caribbean.

 

The migrants said they were trying to reach Panama but were abandoned at sea by people smugglers when the boat’s motor failed.

The fishermen towed the boat to a Colombian port from where the navy took the migrants to the city of Turbo.

Thousands of Haitians try to reach the United States via Colombia and Central America every year.

Colombian migration authorities say that they have deported 3,000 Haitians so far in 2020.

Many migrants from as far away as Africa risk their lives trying to cross by foot the dense jungle of the Darién Gap, which straddles the border between Colombia and Panama.

Because of the dangers of crossing the jungle on foot, some pay people smugglers to take them to Panama by boat.

The rescued migrants said that when the boat’s motor had failed, the people smuggler on board had called one of his associates who came to fetch him while leaving all the Haitians on board the faulty vessel.

Colombia’s migration authorities in Turbo will decide what happens next to the rescued migrants, among whom are 33 children.

Last year, 19 African migrants died off the coast of Colombia when the boat they were travelling in sank.

A federal appeals court decided recently that President Donald Trump can phase out protections for hundreds of thousands of families that have been living and working legally in the U.S., many of them for decades.

The 2-1 ruling by the California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a block on Trump’s ending of temporary protected status, or TPS, for more than 300,000 people. The administration could expel people from Haiti as soon as March and from El Salvador by November 2021.

Under the TPS, the US does not issue visas to Haitians or allow them to fly in from Haiti, but if they arrive overland at the border, they can be admitted. This has led to many Haitians making the hazardous journey overland from South or Central America up though Mexico so they can present themselves at the US border.